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Huntington Free Library 

Native American 


3 1924 104 094 002 


Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 









13 ETH 21 321 



Introductory 325 

The survival of early Zuni traits 325 

Outline of Spanish-Zuni history 326 

Outline of pristine ZuDi history 341 

Outline of Zufii mytho-BOciologic organization 367 

General explanations relative to the text 373 

Myths 379 

The genesis of the worlds, or the beginning of newness 379 

The genesis of men and the creatures 379 

The gestation'of men and the creatures 381 

The forthcoming from earth of the foremost of men 381 

The hirth from the sea of the Twain deliverers of men 381 

The birth and delivery of men and the creatures 382 

The condition of men when first into the world of daylight born 383 

The origin of priests and of knowledge 384 

The origin of the Raven and the Macaw, totems of winter and summer.. 384 
The origin and naming of totem-clans and creature kinds, and the division 

and naming of spaces and things 386 

The origin of the councils of secrecy or sacred brotherhoods 387 

The unripeness aud instability of the world when still .young 388 

The hardening of the world, and the first settlement of men 388 

The beginning of the search for the Middle of the world, and the second 

tarrying of men 390 

The learning of war, and the third tarrying 390 

The meeting of the People of Dew, and the fourth tarrying 390 

The generation of the seed of seeds, or the origin of corn 391 

The renewal of the search for the Middle 398 

The choosing of seekers for signs of the Middle 398 

The change-making sin of the brother and sister 399 

The birth of the Old-ones or ancieuts of the Kil'ka 401 

The renewal of the great journey, and the suiidering of the tribes of men. 403 

The origin of death by dying, and the abode of souls and the Ka'kii 404 

The loss of the great southern clans 405 

The saving of the father-clans 405 

The awaiting of the lost clans 406 

The straying of K'yiik'lu, and his plaint to the Water-fowl 406 

How the Duck, hearing, was fain to guide K'yak'lu 407 

How the Rainbow-worm bore K'yiik'lu to the plain of Ka'Tiluelane. ..... 408 

The tarrying of K'yiik'lu in the plain, and his dismay 409 

How the Duck found the lake of the dead and the gods of the KS'ka 409 

How the gods of the Ka,'kfi, counselled the Duck 410 

How by behest of the Duck the Ka'yemashi sought K'yiik'lu to convey 

him to the lake of the dead 410 

How the K^'yemiishi bore K'yiik'lu to the council of the gods 411 

The council of the K&'ki, and the instruction of K'yiik'lu by the gods . .. 412 



Myths— Continued. ^^^" 

The instruction of the Ki'yemashi by K'yaklu 4:13 

How the Ka'yemashi bore K'yak'lu to his people 4:13 

The return of K'yak'lu, and his sacred instructions to the people 413 

The enjoining of the K'yak'lu Imosi, and the departure of K'yak'lu and 

the Old-ones *14 

The coming of the brothers Anahoho and the runners of the Ka'kS, 414 

The dispatching of the souls of things to the souls of the dead 415 

The renewal of the great journeying, and of the search for the Middle 415 

The warning-speech of the gods, and the untailing of men 416 

The origin of the Twin Gods of War and of the Priesthood of the Bow 417 

The downfall of Han"hlipi:r)k'ya, and the search anew for the Middle 424 

The wars with the Black people of the high buildings and with the 

ancient woman of the K'y^kweina and other K^'kakwe 424 

The adoption of the Black people, and the division of the clans to search 

for the Middle 425 

The northward eastern journey of the Winter clans 426 

The southward eastern journey of the Summer clans 426 

The eastward middle journey of the People of the Middle 427 

The settlement of Zuni-laud, and the building of the seven great towns 

therein 427 

The reunion of the People of the Middle with the Summer and Seed peoples . 428 
The great council of men and the beings for the determination of the true 

Middle 428 

The establishment of the fathers and their tabernacle at H^lonawan or 

the Erring-place of the Middle 429 

The flooding of the towns, and the building of the City of Seed on the 

mountain 429 

The staying of the flood by sacrifice of the youth and maiden, and the 

establishment of Hilona Itiwana on the true. Middle 429 

The custom of testing the Middle in the Middle time 429 

The cherishing of the Corn maidens and their custom as of old 430 

The murmuring of the foolish anent the custom of the Corn maidens 430 

The council of the fathers that the perfection of the custom be accom- 
plished 431 

The observance of the 'Hlihekwe custom, or dance of the Corn maidens. . 431 
The sending of the Twain Priests of the Bow, that they bespeak the aid 

of Paiyatuma and his Flute people 432 

The finding of Paiyatuma, and his custom of the flute 433 

The preparations for the coming of Pafyatuma and his People of the Flute . 434 

The coming of Paiyatuma and his Dance of the Flute 435 

The sacrilege of the youths of the dance, and the fleeting of the Maidens of 

Corn 435 

The mourning for loss of the Maidens of Corn 435 

The seeking of the Maidens of Corn by the Eagle 436 

The seeking of the Maidens of Corn by the Falcon 437 

The seeking of the Maidens of Corn by the Raven 438 

The beseeching of Paiyatuma, and his reversal of the peoples' evil 439 

The seeking of the Maidens of Corn by Paiyatuma 442 

The finding of the Maidens of Corn in Summerland 443 

The return of the Maidens of Corn with Paiyatuma 443 

The presentation of the perfected seed to the fathers of men, and the 

passing of the Maidens of Seed 443 

The instructions of Paiyatuma for the ordinances and customs of the 

corn perfecting 445 

The final instructions of Paiyatuma, and his passing 446 


By Frank Hamilton Gushing 


During the earlier years of my life with the Zuni Indians of western- 
central New Mexico, from the autumn of 1879 to the winter of 1881 — 
before access to their country had been rendered easy by the comple- 
tion of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad, — they remained, as regards 
their social and religious institutions and customs and their modes of 
thought, if not of daily life, the most archaic of the Pueblo or Aridian 
peoples. They still continue to be, as they have for centuries been, the 
most highly developed, yet characteristic and representative of all these 

In fact, it is principally due to this higher development by the Zuni, 
than by any of the other Pueblos, of the mytho-sociologic system dis- 
tinctive in some measure of them all at the time of the Spanish con- 
quest of the southwest, that they have maintained so long and so much 
more completely than any of the others the i^rimitive characteristics of 
the Aridian phase of culture; this despite the fact that, being the 
descendants of the original dwellers in the famous " Seven Cities of 
Cibola," they were the earliest known of all the tribes within the ter- 
ritory of the United States. Like the other Pueblos, the Zunians, 
when discovered, were found living in segregated towns; but unlike 
the other groups (each separate community of any one of which was 
autonomous except on rare occasions) they were permanently and 
closely confederated in both a political and hierarchical sense. In other 
words, all their subtribes and lesser towns were distinctively related 
to and ruled from a central tribe and town through priest-chiefs, repre- 
sentative of each of them, sitting under the supreme council or septu- 
archy of the "master priests of the house" in the central town itself, 
much as were the divisions and cities of the great Inca dominion in 
South America represented at and ruled from Cuzco, the central city 
and province of them all. 


326 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.akn.13 

It thus happened that, although one or another of the Zuni sub- 
tribes was at different times partially and temporarily conquered by 
the Spaniards, they were never as a whole people subdued; and, 
although missions and chapels were ultimately established at one and 
another of their towns by the Franciscan friars, they were never all of 
them immediately under mission influence and surveillance at any one 
time until a comparatively recent date. The evidences and tragic 
consequences of this may be traced throughout the history of Spanish 
intercourse, and as the measure of its effect in minimizing the influence 
of Spanish thought and example on Zuni culture and habits is of 
great importance in determining to what extent the following sacred 
myths may be regarded as purely aboriginal, a brief outline of this 
history is regarded as desirable. 


The first discovered of the Seven Cities of Cibola or Zuniland, called 
by the Zunis themselves Shiwona, was by native account the most east- 
erly of their towns, the K'ya'kime of tradition and the Oaquima of 
later Spanish record. According also to native tradition it was entered 
by Estevanico, the negro spy of Fray Marcos de Niza, and the Black 
Mexican of Zuni story, in the spring of 1539. The negro was forthwith 
killed by the inhabitants; but the friar, following him shortly after, 
saw from the mesa heights to the southward one of the seven villages, 
and, making good his escape, .reported his discovery to the viceroy of 
Mexico, Don Antonio de Mendoza. 

Only a year later the largest of the westerly towns, HAwik'uh 
(Aquico) was stormed and its inhabitants partly subdued, partly driven 
away to the great tribal stronghold. Thunder mountain, by that val- 
iant knight, Don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, and his vanguard 
of hardy mail-clad soldiers. The little army occupied as headquarters, 
for several months, the town they had captured, and later the more 
numerous rear of the army were quartered at the more central and 
eastern town of M^tsaki (Muzaque). During this time Coronado and 
his comrades in arms were able to reassure and pacify the natives, 
insomuch that when, two years afterward, they were returning through 
Zuiiiland en route to Mexico from the conquests of the farther Pueblos 
and their vain search for the golden province of Quivira, they were 
entreated to remain and join the tribes. But Fray Juan de Padilla, 
the heroic priest of the expedition, had found more fertile fields to the 
eastward, and only three or four Mexican Indian allies of the Spaniards 
were fain to stay. 

When, in 1581-'82, Francisco Chamuscado and his 9 soldiers reck- 
lessly penetrated those vast and lonely wilds of the southwest (in 
1888 I sketched his graven signature and those of many of his succes- 
sors on El Moro, or the Eock Mesa of Inscriptions, 35 miles east of 

EBBING) ZUNI HISTORY, 1582-1628. 327 

Zufii) and passed through the country of Cibola, he was not hindered 
by its people. And when Antonio de Espejo, in 1582, with scarcely 
more of a company, was on his way toward Tusayan or the Hopi 
country, iu the northwest, he stopped at the central town of Alona 
(Hdlona) and was well received. To this day the marks, said by the 
Zunis to have been made by the "iron bonnets of his tall warriors," are 
shown on the rafters of one of the low, still used prehistoric rooms 
facing the great northern court (once the central and main one) of 
Zuni, and attest to the hospitality so long ago accorded them there. 

Again, in the autumn of 1598, Juan de Onate and his more consid- 
erable force of soldiers and priests, after their general tour of formal 
conquest iu the other Pueblo provinces, were met as they approached 
the Zuni towns by delegations of singing priests and warriors, and 
were received with such showers of white prayer-meal on entering that 
they had to protect themselves from these offerings, as they supposed, 
of peace. This iticident, and that of the ceremonial hunt and feast given 
them afterward, signifies conclusively the estimation in which, up to 
that time, the Spaniards had been held by the priestly elders of Zufii- 
land. Precisely as the returning Ka'kakwe, or mythic-dance drama- 
tists, personating gods and heroes of the olden time are received twice 
yearly (before and after the harvest growth and time), so were these 
soldiers and friars received, not as enemies nor as aliens, but as verita- 
ble gods or god-men, coming forth at the close of autumn from out the 
land of day, whence come the ripening breaths of the Frost gods! 

As yet, the Franciscan friars, although sometimes baptizing scores 
of the Zuni — much to Iheir gratification, doubtless, as quite appropriate 
behavior on the part of such beings when friendly, — had not antag- 
onized their ancient observances or beliefs ; and the warriors who accom- 
panied them had never, since the first of them had come, and after 
fighting had laid down their dreadful arms and made peace and left 
hostages, albeit mortals like themselves, with their forefathers — had 
never again raised their fearful batons of thunder and fire or their 
long blades of blue metal like lightning-. 

But all this was soon to change. When, nearly a quarter of a cen- 
tury later still, Fray Alonzo de Benavides became father-custodian 
of New Mexico, he undertook to establish missions throughout the 
country. More than twenty missionaries were introduced into the 
Pueblo provinces by him, and soon afterward Esteban de Perea brought 
thirty more from Spain and old Mexico. Among the latter were Fray 
Martin de Arvide and Fray Francisco de Letrado. Fray Letrado was 
assigned to Zuiii some time after 1628. By the end of the following 
year the Indians had built for him at H^lona the little Church of the 
Purification or of the Immaculate Yirgin, and at H^wik'uh the church 
and conventual residence of the Immaculate Conception. 

Fray Francisco was an old man and very zealous. Unquestionably 
he antagonized the native priests. It is as certain that, at first welcom- 

328 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.anh.13 

ing him, tliey gradually came to look upon his religion as no less that 
of mortal men than their own, and to regard its magic and power of 
appeal to the gods as of small account in the making of rain or the 
quelling of war and sorcery. Wherefore, although baptized by dozens as 
they had been, they brooked but ill the compulsory attendance at mass 
and other observances and the constant interferences of the father and 
his soldiers (for a small escort, unluckily, accompanied him) with their 
own acts of worship. When in the winter of 16^Pray Martin de Arvide 
joined Fray Letrado at HAwik'uh, on the way to establish missions 
among the Zipias, a pueblo people said by the Zunis to have lived con- 
siderably to the south westward of them at that time, and called by them 
Tsipiakwe (" People-of-the-coarse-hanging-hair "), he foresaw for his 
brother and himself speedy martyrdom. He had but fairly departed 
when, on the Sunday following, the people delayed attending mass, and 
Fv^bj Francisco, going forth to remonstrate with them, met a party of 
the native religionists armed with bows and arrows and in mood so 
menacing that in expectancy of death he knelt where he had stood, 
clinging to his crucifix, and, continuing to entreat them, was trans- 
fixed by many arrows. 

Thus speedily was slain the first resident priest of Zufii; thus were 
the Zuiiis themselves disillusionized of their belief in the more than 
mortal jjower of th6 Spaniard and the deific character of his religion; 
for they broke up the ornaments of the altar, burned the church, and 
then sallied forth to follow Fray Martin. They overtook him at night 
five days later, attacked his party while in camp, overawed and killed 
outright his two soldiers, and, joined by his traitorous "Christian 
Iiidians,'' one of whom, a half-blood, cut off his hand and scalped him, 
they killed also this venerable friar and hastened back to their town. 
There the ceremonial of the scalp dances of initiation were performed 
over the scalps of the two friars, an observance designed both as a com- 
memoration of victory and to lay the ghosts of the slain by completing 
the count of their unfinished days and making them members by adop- 
tion of the ghostly tribe of Zuiii. The scalp-dance is also supposed to 
proclaim in song, unto the gods and men, that thenceforward their 
people are of the enemy, and unto the gods of the enemy that the 
gods of Zuiii are victors over them, whereof and wherefore it will be 
well for them to beware. Thus the estimation in which the Spaniard, 
and especially his religious representatives, were ever afterward to be 
held was fixed on those fatal days at the close of February, 1639^. 

Now again, after this demonstration, the Zunis, as in the days of the 
great flood, when men had disobeyed the gods, as when Coronado 
advanced on Hawik'uh, so soon as they had completed the rites of 
purifying and baptizing the scalps, betook themselves to Thunder 
mountain and thereon intrenched themselves. 

It was not until after two years had passed that they were attacked 
there, but not overcome, by Tomas de Albizu and his soldiery and 


induced by the priests who accompanied him, and whom the Indians, 
knowing them to be unarmed, allowed to approach, to hold parley. It 
is probable that Don Tomas, finding it impossible to storm their rock 
successfully, promised that if they would yield the wretched mestizo 
who had cut off the hand and torn away the scalp of Fray Martin, he 
and his people would leave them in peace. At any rate, the mutilator 
of the friar was yielded, and in due course was hanged by the Spanish 

Then gradually the Zunis descended from their stronghold and a few 
years later were peacefully reoccupying the largest four of their towns. 
More than thirty years elapsed before the missions of the Puriflca- 
tion at Hdlona and the Immaculate Conception at H4wik'uh were 
reestablished. In 1670 Fray Juan Galdo was the resident priest at 
the one, and at the other Fray Pedro de Avila y Ayala. But in the 
autumn of the year named a numerous band of Apache-Navajo attacked 
the town of H^wik'uh, and, making for the lower courts where stood 
the church and convent, they dragged Fray Avila from the altar, at 
which he had sought refuge, clinging to the cross and an image of the 
Virgin, and, stripping him, beat him to death with one of the church 
bells at the foot of the cross in the courtyard hard by. They then 
plundered and burned the church, threw the image of the Virgin into 
the flames, and, transfixing the body of the priest with more than 200 
arrows, cast upon it stones and the carcasses of three dead lambs. The 
mutilated corpse was thus found the following day by Fray Galdo and 
carried to Hdlona for sepulture in the Church of the Purification 

After this tragic occurrence the pueblo of Hdwik'uh was abandoned 
by the missionaries and for a short time at least by its native inhabitants 
as well. Nevertheless, it seems highly probable that other Zunis, if not 
indeed some of the townspeople themselves, had to do with the tragic 
affair just related, for there is no evidence that, although the people 
of Hilwik'uh were numerous, any of them came to the rescue of the 
father, or that their town was sacked, whereas the church was plun- 
dered and burned. 

They do not seem, however, to have done injury to the priest of 
H4Iona, for just previously to the summer of 1680 when they, in com- 
mon with all the other Pueblo Indians, joined in the revolt against 
Spanish rule and religion, they were tolerating the presence of Fray 
Juan de Bal at this town and of another priest, it seems, at Hdwik'uh. 

When the message strands of that great war magician, Pop6 of 
Taos, who had planned the rebellion and sent forth the knotted strings 
of invitation and warning, were received by the Zunis, their leaders of 
one accord consented to join the movement and sped the war strands 
farther on to the Tusayan country, there insisting with the less cour- 
ageous Hopi that they join also, and ultimately gaining their at first 
divided consent. 

330 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

When all the knots had been numbered and untied, then, to a man, 
the Zunis arose to slay Spaniards wheresoever they might encounter 
them. They forthwith killed Fray Juan de Bal, the priest of H41ona, 
burning his church and destroying the chapels in the lesser towns 
round about. IS^ot content with this, they dispatched warriors to the 
Tusayan country to see to it that the Hopi remain faithful to their 
promise and vigorously to abet them in its fulfilment. 

It fared far otherwise with the priest of H4wik'uh. Although his 
name is unknown, and although it has been doubted that any other 
missionary than Fray Juan of Hdlona was with the Zunis at the time, 
or that the mission of H4wik'uh was ever occupied after the death of 
Fray Pedro de Avila, yet Vetancurt's chronicles are explicit in stating 
the contrary, and that, although the Church of the Conception was again 
burned, the priest escaped. This latter statement is substantially true 
if we may trust Zufii tradition, which is very detailed on this point, and 
which is trustworthy on many another and better recorded point of even 
remoter date. 

The elder Priests of the Bow — three of whom were battle-scarred 
warriors of nearly a hundred winters at the time of my initiation 
into their order — told me that one of their gray-robed tutatsikwe 
("fathers of drink," so named because they used cup-like vessels of 
water in baptizing), whom their ancients had with them at H4wik'uh 
in the time of the great evil, was much loved by them; " for, like our- 
selves," they affirmed, " he had a Zuni heart and cared for the sick 
and women and children, nor contended with the fathers of the people; 
therefore, in that time of evil they spared him on condition" — pre- 
cisely the rather sweeping condition these same veterans had in 1880 
imposed on me ere they would permit of my adoption into one of their 
clans — " that he eschew the vestment and usages of his people and kind, 
and in everything, costume and ways of life alike, become a Zuni; for 
as such only could they spare him and nurture him." Not so much, I 
imagine, from fear of death — for the dauntless Franciscan Mars of those 
days feared only God and the devil and met martyrdom as bridegrooms 
of the Virgin herself — as from love of the Zunis, if one may judge by the 
regard they even still have for his memory, and a hope that, living, he 
might perchance restrain them, alike to the good of their people and his 
own people, the father gave way to their wishes; or he may have been 
forced to accede to them by one of those compulsory adoptions of the 
enemy not uncommonly practiced by the Indians in times of hostility. 
Be this as it may, the Zunis abandoned all their towns in the valley, and 
taking the good priest with them, fled yet again to the top of their 
high Mountain of Thunder. Around an ample amphitheater near its 
southern rim, they rebuilt six or seven great clusters of stone houses 
and renewed in the miniature vales of the mesa summit the reservoirs 
for rain and snow, and on the crests above the trickling spring under 
their towns, and along the upper reaches of the giddy trail by which 


the heights were scaled they reared archers' booths and heaps of sling- 
stones and munitions of heavy rocks. 

There, continually providing for the conflict which they knew would 
sooner or later reach even their remote fastnesses (as speedily it began 
to reach the Eio Grande country), they abode securely for more than ten 
years, living strictly according to the ways of their forefathers, wor- 
shiping only the beloved of war and the wind and rain, nor pajring 
aught of attention to the jealous gods of the Spaniard. 

Then at last Diego de Vargas, the reconquistador of New Mexico, 
approached Zuniland with his force of foot soldiers and horsemen. 
The Zufiis, learning this, poisoned the waters of their springs at Pescado 
and near the entrance to the valley with yucca juice and cactus spines, 
and, they say, " with the death-magic of corpse shells ; so that the horses 
and men, drinking there, were undone or died of bloating and bowel 
sickness." In this latter statement the historians of Vargas and the 
Zuiii tradition^gree. But the captain-general could not have stormed 
the Eock of Cibola. With the weakened force remaining at his com- 
mand his eflfbrts were doubly futile. Therefore, where uow the new 
peach orchards of the Zunis grow on the sunlit sand slopes, 800 feet 
below the northern crest of the mesa their fathers so well defended in 
those days, Vargas camped his army, with intent to besiege the heathen 
renegades, and to harass and pick off such stragglers as came within 
the range of his arquebuses. 

Now, however, the good friar whom the Indians called Kwan 
Tdtchui L6k'yana ("Juan Gray-robed-father-of-us"), was called to 
council by the elders, and given a well-scraped piece of deerskin, 
whitened with prayer meal, and some bits of cinder, wherewith to make 
markings of meaning to his countrymen. And he was bidden to mark 
thereon that the Zunis were good to those who, like him, were good to 
them and meddled not; nor would they harm any who did not harm 
their women and children and their elders. And that if such these 
captains and their warriors would but choose and promise to be, they 
would descend from their mountain, nor stretch their bowstrings more. 
But when they told their gray father that he could now join- his people 
if that by so doing he might stay their anger, and told him so to mark 
it, the priest, so the legend runs, " dissembled and did not tell that 
he was there, only that the fathers of the Ashiwi were good now;" for 
he willed, it would seem, to abide with them all the rest of his days, 
which, alas, were but few. Then the hide was tied to a slingstone 
and taken to the edge of the mesa, and cast down into the midst of 
the watchful enemy by the arm of a strong warrior. And when the 
bearded foemen below saw it fall, they took it up and curiously 
questioned it with their eyes, and finding its answers perfect and its 
import good, they instant bore it to their war captain, and in token of 
his consent, they waved it aloft. So was speech held and peace forth- 
with established between them. 

332 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

That without casualty to the Zunis an understanding was in some 
way soon reached between them and Vargas, the chroniclers of the 
expedition agree with this Zuni legend; and before the end of the 
century the Indians had all descended to the plain again and were 
gathered, except in seasons of planting and harvest, chiefly at three 
of their easternmost towns, and the central one of H41ona Itiwana, 
the Zuni of today. After the reconquest at least some of the missions 
were rehabilitated, and missionaries dwelt with the Zunis now and 
again. But other chiefs than those chosen by the priestly elders of 
the people were thenceforward chosen by the Spaniards to watch the 
people — gobernador, alcalde, and tenientes, — and these in turn were 
watched by Spanish soldiers whose conduct favored little the foster- 
ing of good will and happy relations; for in 1703, goaded to despera- 
tiop by the excesses of these resident police, the Zunis drove at least 
three of them into the church and there massacred them. Then, 
according to their wont, they fled, for the last time, to the top of Thun- 
der mountain. 

When they finally descended they planted numerous peach orchards 
among the cliffs and terraces of Grand mountain and Twin mountains 
to the northward of Zuni, and there also laid out great gardens and 
many little cornfields. And with the pretext of wishing to be near 
their crops there, they built the seven Sdnoli 'Hluelawe (the " Towns 
of Sonora"), so named because the peach stones they had planted 
there had been brought from Sonora, Mexico. But their real object 
was to escape from the irksome and oft-repeated spyings upon and 
interdictions of their sacred observances and mythic drama-dances, 
which, as time went on, the Spanish frailes, supported by the increasing 
power of the authorities at Santa F6 in the first half of the eighteenth 
century, were wont to make. So, in hidden and lone nooks on the 
mountains, where their fine foundations may be seen even now, the 
Indian priests had massive kivas built, and there from year to year 
they conducted in secret the rites which but for this had never been 
preserved so perfectly for teUing, albeit only in outline, in the following 
pages. But even thus far from the mission and its warders the plume- 
wands of worship, which in earlier times had been made long (each one 
according to its kind as long as from the elbow to the tip of one finger 
or another of him who made and sacrificed it), now had to be cut short 
and made only as long as the hands and the various fingers of those 
who made them; for the large plumed messages to the winds and 
spaces often betrayed the people, and they must now needs be made of 
size convenient for burial or hiding away in crannies or under bushes 
as near as might be to the shrines of the sacred precincts where once 
the fathers had worshiped so freely. 

Toward the end of the century, between 1775 and 1780, the old 
Oharch of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which now harbors only burros 
and shivering dogs of cold winter nights and is toppling to ruin in 


the middle of the grand plaza of Zuui, was built and beautifully deco- 
rated with carved altar pieces and paintings, gifts from the King of 
Spain to the Indies and work of resident monks as well. Its walls 
were painted — as the more recent plasterings scaling off here and 
there reveal — by Zuni artists, who scrupled not to mingle many a 
pagan symbol of the gods of wind, rain, and lightning, sunlight, storm- 
dark and tempest, war-bale and magic, and, more than all, emblems 
of their beloved goddess-virgins of corn- growing with the bright- 
colored Christian decorations. And doubtless their sedulous teachers 
or masters, as the case may have been, understanding little, if aught, 
of the meanings of these things, were well pleased that these reluctant 
proselytes should manifest so much of zeal and bestow such loving care 
on this temple of the holy and only true faith. 

In a measure the padres were right. The Indians thenceforward did 
manifest not only more care for the mission, but more readiness to 
attend mass and observe the various holy days of the church. To be 
baptized and receive baptismal names they had ever been willing, nay, 
eager, for they were permitted, if only as a means of identification, to 
retain their own ti¥ya sMiwe ("names totemic of the sacred assem- 
blies"), which names the priests of the mission innocently adopted for 
them as surnames and scrupulously recorded in the quaint old leather- 
covered folios of their mission and church. Thus it chances that in 
these faded but beautifully and piously indicted pages of a century 
ago I find names so familiar, so like those I heard given only a few 
years since to aged Zuiii friends now passed away, that, standing out 
clearly from the midst of the formal Spanish phrases of these old-time 
books, they seem like the voices of the dead of other generations, and 
they tell even more clearly than such voices could tell of the causes 
which worked to render the Zunis of those times apparently so recon- 
ciled to Spanish teaching and domination. 

For it is manifest that when, as the meaning of his name informs us, 
the chief priest of the Ka'kakwe, or mythic drama-dancers of a hun- 
dred years ago, entered the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and 
was registered as "Feliciano Pautiatzanilunquia " (PAutia Tsani Ltin- 
k'ya), or "Felix Of-the-sacred-dancers-glorious-sun-god-youth," neither 
he nor any of his attendant clau relatives, whose names are also 
recorded, thought of renouncing their allegiance to the gods of Zuni 
or the ever sacred Ka'ka; but that they thought only of gaining the 
magic of purification and the name-potency of the gods of another 
people, as well as of securing the sanctiflcation if not recognition of 
their own gods and priests by these other gods and priests. 

That this was so is shown also by the sacred character almost inva- 
riably of even the less exalted tribal names they gave. Thus, those 
belonging not to the priesthood, yet to the " midmost" or septuarchial 
clans, as "Francisco Kautzitihua" (Kdutsitiwa), or "Francis Giver 
of-the-midmost-dance," and "Angela Kahuitietza" (K^witi Btsa), or 

334 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS |eth.ann.13 

"Angelina Of-the-midmost-dance Little maiden;" and those belonging 
to yet other clan divisions and the Ka'ka, like " Manuel Layatzilunquia" 
(Laiyatsi Ltink'ya), or " Emanuel Of-the-flowing plume Glorious-tall- 
bearer," and "Maria Laytzitilutza" (Laitsitilutsa), or "Mary Of-the- 
soft-flowing-plume Little-bearer;" and, finally, even the least sacred 
but mythically alegoric clan names, such as ^< Manuel Layujtigua" 
(Li-yiihtiwa) or "Emanuel Plume-of-lightness," a name of the Eagle 
clan and upper division of the tribe; and "Lucia Jayatzemietza," 
(Haiya Tsemi Etsa) or "Lucy Of-green-growing-things-ever- thinking 
Little-maiden," which, alluding to the leaves of growing corn and vines 
when watched by the young unmarried girls, is one of the Corn or Seed 
clan names belonging to the southern division. Only very rarely were 
the colloquial names one hears most often in Zuiii (the sacred and 
totemic names are considered too precious for common use) given for 
baptismal registration. I have found but two or three. One of these 
is written " Est^van ISTato Jasti" (N4to Hastig) or "Stephen Old- 
tobacco," a Navajo sobriquet which, in common with the few others 
like it, was undoubtedly offered reluctantly in place of the "true 
and sacred name," because some relative who had recently borne it 
was dead and therefore his name could not be pronounced aloud 
lest his spirit and the hearts of those who mourned him be disturbed. 

But the presence of these ordinary names evidences no less than that 
of the more " idolatrous" ones, the uncompromisingly paganistic spirit 
of these supposedly converted Indians, and the unmodified fashion of 
their thoughts at the period of their truest apparent allegiance, or at 
least submission, to the church. Hence I have not hesitated to pause 
somewhat in the course of this introductory sketch to give these exam- 
ples in detail, particularly as they evidence not merely the exceeding 
vitality of the native Zuni cult, but at the same time present an expla- 
nation of the strange spectacle of earnest propagandists everywhere 
vigilantly seeking out and ruthlessly repressing the native priesthood 
and their dances and other ceremonials, yet, unconsciously to them- 
selves, solemnizing these very things by their rites of baptism, offi- 
cially recognizing, in the eyes of the Indians, the very names and titles 
of the officiators and offices they otherwise persecuted and denounced. 
It was quite of a piece with aU this that during the acts of worship 
performed in the old church at that time by the Zunis, whilst they 
knelt at mass or responded as taught to the mysterious and to them 
magic, but otherwise meaningless, credo, they scattered in secret their 
sacred white prayer-meal, and invoked not only the souls of their dead 
priests — who as caciques or rulers of the pueblo were accorded the 
distinction of burial in the church, under their very feet— but also, the 
tribal medicine-plumes and fetiches hidden away under the very altar 
where stood the archenemy of their religion ! 

So, in following further the Spanish history of Zuni, we need not be 
surprised that all went well for a while after the completion of the church, 


ami that more than twenty priests were at one time and anotlier resi- 
dent missionaries of Zuni. Nor, on the other hand, need we be surprised 
that when in the early part of the present century these missionaries 
began to leave the pagan surnames out of their registers giving Spanish 
names instead — began to suspect, perhaps, the nature of the wall paint- 
ings, or for some other reason had them whitewashed away — and sought 
more assiduously than ever, in the deepest hiding places of the many- 
storied pueblo, to surprise the native priests at their unholy pagan prac- 
tices, that the records of baptisms in the old books grew fewer and 
fewer, and that as the secular power withdrew more and more its sup- 
port of the clergy, the latter could no longer control their disaffected 
flock, and that finally the old mission had to be abandoned, never again 
tobereoccupied save on occasions of the parochial visits of priests resi- 
dent in far-away Mexican towns or in other Indian pueblos. 

Nevertheless, although the old church was thus abandoned and is 
now utterly neglected, there lingers still with the Indians a singular 
sentiment for it, and this has been supposed to indicate that they retain 
some conscious remnant of tlie faith and teachings for which it once 

It is true that the Zunis of today are as eager as were their fore- 
fathers for baptism and for baptismal names additional to their own. 
But it must be remembered that baptism — the purification of the head 
by sprinkling or of the face by washing with medicine-water, was a 
very old institution with this people even before the Spaniards found 
them. With them anyone being named anew or assuming a new per- 
sonality or office is invariably sprinkled or washed "that he be the 
more cleanly revealed and the better recommended in his new guise 
and character to the gods and spirits" invoked for the occasion, 
"and thus be constantly recognized by them as their child, named of 
themselves, and so be made a special recipient of their favor." This 
custom is observed, indeed, on many occasions, as on reaching puberty 
or before any great change in life, or before initiation into the sacred 
societies, as well as both before and after war, and especially before 
and after performance in the sacred dances. The head and face of 
every participant in these mythic dramas is washed or sprinkled when 
he is being painted and masked to represent or to assume the presence 
and personality of the god for whom he is to act or by whom he is to 
be possessed. 

Thus it may be seen that this custom probably had its rise in the 
simple and necessary act of washing the face for painting before the 
performance of any ceremony calling for the assumption of a new role, 
and in the washing away of the paint, when the ordinary condition of 
life was to be resumed after such performance. Thus, too, it may be 
seen that baptism as practiced by the early Franciscan missionaries 
must have seemed not only familiar to the Zuiiis, but also eminently 
proper and desirable on occasion of their accepting the benefits of initia- 


tion into what they supposed was the Ka'ka, or oue of the general sa- 
cred societies of these other people. No wonder, then, that when about 
to be baptized they insisted on giving their own sacred names of the Ka'- 
ka, if only as a surety of their full recognition under them in this new 
Ka'ka, no less than under the new names they were about to receive. 

It is also true that the Zunis do not again burn the dead and cast 
their ashes into the river, nor bury the bodies of the clan elders, or the 
priests of the tribal septuarchy, in their own houses, as they did ere 
the time of Coronado, or " under the ladders," as their funereal rituals 
continue nevertheless to say they do. They bury all, now, in the little 
strip of consecrated ground out in front of the church ; ground already 
so overfilled with the bones of past generations that never a new grave 
is made that does not encroach on other graves. Bones lie scattered 
all about there, rubbish accumulates, the wooden cross in the center of 
the place is frequently broken, and the mud walls inclosing it are 
sometimes allowed to fall to the ground. Yet in vain I urged them if 
only for sanitary reasons to abandon burying their dead there, and 
inter them in the sand hills to the south of the pueblo. ''Alas! we 
could not," they said. "This was the ground of the church which was 
the house of our fathers wherein they were buried, they and their chil- 
dren, 'under the descending ladders.' How, if we bury our dead in 
lone places, may they be numbered with our 'fathers and children 
of the descending ladders?' " 

But far from indicating any lingering desire for " Christian burial," 
this is a striking example of the real, though not apparent, persistence 
of their original mortuary customs. For they still ceremonially and 
ritualistically " burn " their ordinary dead, as did their forefathers 
when first compelled to bury in the churchyard, by burning some of 
their hair and personal effects with the customary clan offerings of 
food and property, and casting the ashes of all into the river ; and it 
matters not where these, who virtually exist no more, but are, in their 
eyes, consumed and given to the waters, are buried, save that they be 
placed with the priestly dead of today, as the " children " or ordinary 
dead were placed with the priestly dead in the days of the " Misa 
k'yakwe " or " Mission-house people." So, too, the priests of today, or 
the tribal fathers, are still painted with the black of silence over their 
mouths and the yellow and green of light and life over their eyes and 
nostrils, as are the gods, and are ritualistically buried " under the lad- 
ders," that is, in their own houses, when actually buried in the church- 
yard. Thus, when the gods are invoked, these, as being demigods, 
still priests of the beloved, are also invoked, first, as " Fathers and chil- 
dren of the descending ladder," then as souls in the clouds and winds 
and waters, " Makers of the ways of life." So the whole burial ground 
of the church is, in the estimation of the Zuiii, a fetich whereby 
to invoke the souls of the ancestors, the potency of which would be 
destroyed if disturbed; hence the place is neither cared for nor 


abandoned, though recognized even by themli^ves as a " direful place 
in daylight." 

It is much the same with the old church. A few*^ar.s since a party 
of Americans who accompanied me to Zufii desecrara(l the beautiful 
antique shrine of the church, carrying away " Our Lady of Guadalupe 
of the Sacred Heart," the guardian angels, and some of the painted bas- 
reliefs attached to the frame of the altar. When this was discovered 
by the Indians, consternation seized the whole tribe ; council after coun- 
cil was held, at which I was alternately berated (because people who 
had come therewith me had thus "plundered their fathers' house"), 
and entreated to plead with "Wasiutona" to have these "precious 
saints and sacred masks of their fathers " returned to them. 

Believing at the time that the Indians really reverenced these things 
as Christian emblems, and myself reverencing sincerely the memory of 
the noble missionaries who had braved death and labored so many 
years in the cause of their faith and for the good of these Indians, I 
promised either* to have the original relics returned or oo bring them 
new saints; and I also urged them to join me in cleaning out the old 
church, repairing the rents in its walls and roof, and plastering once 
more its rain-streaked interior. But at this point their mood seemed 
to change. The chiefs and old men i^uflfed their cigarettes, unmoved 
by the most eloquent appeals I could make, save to say, quite irrele- 
vantly, that I " talked well," and that all my thoughts were good, very 
good, but they could not heed them. 

I asked them if they did not care for their missa k^yakwi or mis- 
sion-house. " Yea, verily," they replied, with fervor. " It was the 
sacred place of our fathers, even more sacred than were the things 
taken away therefrom." 

I asked if they would not, then, in memory of those fathers, restore 
its beauty. 

"Nay," they replied, " we could not, alas! for it Avas the missa-house 
of our fathers who are dead, and dead is the missa-house! May the 
fathers be made to live again by the adding of meat to their bones? 
How, then, may the missa-house be made alive again by the adding of 
mud to its walls f 

Not long afterward there was a furious night storm of wind and rain. 
On the following morning, great seams appeared in the northern walls 
of the old building. I called a council of the Indians and urged that 
since they would not repair the missa-house, it be torn down; for ifc 
might fall over some day and kill the women and children as they- 
passed through the narrow alley it overshadowed, on their way to 
and from the spring. Again I was told that my words were good, 
but alas! they could not heed them; that it was the missa-house of 
their fathers ! How, if they took it away, would the fathers know their 
own? It was well that the wind and rain wore it away, as time wasted 
away their fathers' bones. That mattered not, for it was the work of 
13 ETH 22 


the beloved, whereof they, the fathers, were aware, but for themselves 
to move it suddenly away, that were worse than the despoiling? of the 
shrine; for it was the house of the fathers, the shrine only a thing 
thereof, not a thing of the fathers as verily as was the house itself. 

From their point of view this reasoning of the I^dians was perfectly 
consistent, based as it was ou their belief that the souls of their ances- 
tors were mediators and that their mortal remains and the places and 
things thereof were means of invoking them, quite as sacrifices are 
supposed to be, for the time being, the mortal and mediate parts of 
the gods and spirits to which they have been offered, hence a potent 
means of invoking them. This is shown much more clearly in the only 
other instance of seeming reverence for the church that I can pause to 

The Zuuis are careful to remove all traces of Catholicism, or rather all 
symbols of the Mexican religion, from their persons or vicinity during 
the performance of their sacred dances or rites, seeing to it that no Mexi- 
can word, even, is ever spoken in the presence of the Ka'ka. If a Mex- 
ican or anyone suspected of being a Mexican happens to approach their 
town during a ceremonial, he is met by watchful sentinels and led, no 
matter what his rank, condition, or haste, to some sequestered room, 
where, although courteously treated and hospitably entertained without 
charge, he is securely locked up and rigorously guarded until after the 
dance or other observance is over. "The fathers of these Mexicans 
did violence to our fathers," say the Indians in exiilanation, " when that 
our fathers of old called the sacred Ka'ka. Therefore, in those days 
our fathers sought to hide the dancers froni their eyes. Our fathers 
come nigh in breath, when now we call the Ka'ka, and they aid our 
songs and prayers to the beloved Gods of Eain and Wind. How, if 
they see we have departed from their customs, and reveal these things ? 
Then will they be sad at our forgetfulness of their ways, and filled with 
fear lest these evil people, beholding, do sacrilege to their precious 
Ka'ka, and will flee away, nor aid our songs and iDrayers for rain, nor 
our calls for their beloved presence!" 

Nevertheless, in autumn, when the harvest is over, one may seethe 
dilapidated little ligure of Saint Francis borne about the pueblo on the 
eve of the " Feast of the Dead;" and one may see here and there can- 
dles burning, or siich poor substitutes for them as the Indians can get; 
and here and there also old rosaries and a few brass crucifixes revealed. 
Before they fell, one heard, as the night wore on, the ancient church 
bells hammered; and half forgotten, wholly unintelligible phrases of 
church Latin chanted. But all this is not in memory of a "saint's 
day," as would seem, or as one would be told were he injudiciously to 
inquire. It is the feast and drama of the beloved dead of all days 
past. And whilst the dead of long, very long ago, must first be sum- 
moned by means of their ancient relics which best they knew — the 
tribal medicines and fetiches, and the songs to them belonging— yet the 


"old ones of tlie missa times knew also these things of the missa; and 
so, that they be lured near and come not as strangers, but find means 
of recognition and movement (manifestation) to us, and happily receive 
our offerings of food to the fire, they must (in place of the summoning 
songs and drums and rattles) hear the church bells and chants of the 
Spaniards and see the things which they, perforce, held to most famil- 
iarly and with least fear and secrecy in times of festival while yet they 
lived in daylight." 

I need not add that this fully accounts for tlie contradictory behavior 
of the Indians in reference to the old church, the burial ground, and 
other things pertaining to it. The church could not be rebuilt. It had 
been dead so long that, rehabilitated, it would be no longer familiar to 
the "fathers" who in spirit had witnessed its decay. Nor could it be 
taken suddenly away. It had stood so long that, missing it, they 
would be sad, or might perhaps even abandon it. 

The Zuni fait^, as revealed in this sketch of more than three hun- 
dred and fifty years of Spanish intercourse, is as a drop of oil in water, 
surrounded and touched at every point, yet in no place penetrated or 
changed inwardly by the flood of alien belief that descended ui)ou it. 
Herein is exemplified anew the tendency of primitive-minded man to 
interpret unfamiliar things more directly than simply, according to their 
appearances merely, not by analysis in our sense of the term; and to 
make his interpretations, no less than as we ourselves do, always 
in the light of what he already familiarly believes or habitually thinks 
he knows. Hence, of necessity he adjusts other beliefs and opinions 
to his own, but never his own beliefs and opinions to others; and 
even his usages are almost never changed in spirit, however much so in 
externals, until all else in his life is changed. Thus, he is slow to adopt 
from alien peoples any but material suggestions, these even, strictly 
according as they suit his ways of life; and whatever he does adopt, or 
rather absorb and assimilate, from the culture and lore of another peo- 
ple, neither distorts nor obscures his native culture, neither discolors 
nor displaces his original lore. 

All of the foregoing suggests what might be more fully shown by 
further examples, the aboriginal and uncontaminated character — so far 
as a modern like myself can represent it — of the myths delineated in 
the following series of outlines. Yet a casual visitor to Zuni, seeing 
but unable to analyze the signs above noted, would be led to infer quite 
the contrary by other and more patent signs. He would see horses, 
cattle and donkeys, sheei) and goats, to say nothing of swine and a 
few scrawny chickens. He would see peach orchards and wheat fields, 
carts (and wagons now), and tools of metal ; would find, too, in queer out- 
of-the-way little rooms native silversmiths plying their j^rimitive bel- 
lows and deftly using a few crude tools of iron and stone to turn their 
scant silver coins into bright buttons, bosses, beads, and bracelets, 
which every well-conditioned Zuiii wears; and he would see worn also, 

340 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

especially by the meB, clothing of gaudy calico and other thin products 
of the looms of civilization. Indeed, if one did not see these things 
and rate them as at first the gifts to this people of those noble old 
Franciscan friars and their harder-handed less noble Spanish com- 
panions, infinitely more pathetic than it is would be the history of the 
otherwise vain effort I have above outlined; for it is not to be for- 
gotten that the principal of these gifts have been of incalculable value 
to the Zuui. They have helped to preserve him, through an era of new 
external conditions, from the fate that met more than thirty other and 
less favored Pueblo tribes— annihilation by the better-armed, cease- 
lessly prowling Navajo and Apache. And for this alone, their almost 
sole accomplishment of lasting good to the Zuui, not in vain were 
spent and given the lives of the early mission fathers. 

It is intimated that aside from adding such resources to the tribe 
as enabled it to survive a time of fearful stress and danger, even the 
introduction of Spanish plants, animals, and products did not greatly 
change the Zunis. This is truer than would at first seem possible. The 
Zuni was already a tiller of the soil when wheat and peaches were 
given him. To this day he plants and irrigates his peach trees and 
wheat crops much as he anciently planted and watered his corn — in 
hills, hoeing all with equal assiduity; and he does not reap his wheat, 
but gathers it as he gathers his corn in the ear. Thus, only the kind of 
grain is new. The art of rearing it and ways of husbanding and using 
it remain unchanged. The Zuni was already a herder when sheep and 
goats were given him. He liad not only extensive preserves of rabbits 
and deer, but also herds — rather than flocks — of turkeys, which by day 
were driven out over the plains and mesas for feeding, and at night 
housed near the towns or in distant shelters and corrals. It is probable 
that his ancestry had even other domesticated animals. And he used 
the flesh of these animals as food, their feathers and fur as the materials 
for his wonderfully knitted, woven, and twilled garments and robes, as 
he now uses the mutton and goat meat for food, and the wool of the 
sheep for his equally well-knitted, woven, and twilled, though let-s 
beautiful, garments and robes. Thus, only the kinds (and degree 
of productivity) of the animals are new, the arts of caring for them 
and modes of using their products, are unchanged. This is true 
even in detail. "When I first went to live with the Zuiiis their sheep 
were plucked, not sheared, with flat strips of band iron in place of 
the bone spatulee originally used in plucking the turkeys; and the 
herders always scrupulously picked up stray flecks of wool — calling 
it "down," not hair, nor fur— and spinning it, knitting, too, at their 
long woolen leggings as they followed their sheep, all as their fore 
fathers used ever to pick up and twirl the stray feathers and knit at 
their down kilts and tunics as they followed and herded their turkeys. 
Even the silversmiths of Zuni today work coins over as their ancestors 
of the stone-using age worked up bits of copper, not only using tools 


of stoue and bone for the purpose but using even the iron tools of the 
Spaniard mostly in stone-age fashion.' 

This applies equally to their handling of the hoes, hatchets, and 
knives of civilized man. They use their hoes — the heaviest they can 
get — as if weighted, like the wooden and bone hoes of antiquity, ver- 
tically, not horizontally. They use their hatchets or axes and knives 
more for hacking and scraping and chipping than for chopping, hewing, 
and whittling, and in such operations they prefer working toward them- 
selves to working from themselves, as we work. Finally, their garments 
of calico and muslin are new only in material. They are cut after the 
old fashion of the ancestral buckskin breeches and shirts, poncho coats 
of feathers and fur or fiber, and down or cotton breech clouts, while in 
the silver rings and bracelets of today, not only the shapes but even 
the half-natural markings of the original shell rings and bracelets sur- 
vive, and the silver buttons and bosses but perpetuate and multiply 
those once made of copper as well as of shell and white bone. 

Thus, only one absolutely new practical element and activity was 
introduced by the Spaniards — beasts of burden and beast transporta- 
tion and labor. But until the ijresent century cattle were not used 
natively for drawing loads or plows, the latter of which, until lecently 
being made of a convenient fork, are only enlarged harrowing-sticks 
pointed with a leaf of iron in place of the blade of flint; nor were carts 
employed. Burdens were transported in x^anniers adapted to the backs 
of burros instead of to the shoulders of men. 

The Zuni is a splendid rider, but even now his longest journeys are 
made on foot in the old way. He has for centuries lived a settled 
life, traveling but little, and the horse has therefore not played a very 
conspicuous part in his later life as in the lives of less sedentary peo- 
ples, and is consequently unheard of, as are all new things — including 
the greatest of all, the white man himself — in his tribal lore, or the 
folk tales, myths, and rituals of his sacred cult-societies. All this 
strengthens materially the claim heretofore made, that in mind, and 
especially in religious culture, the Zuni is almost as strictly archaic as 
in the days ere his land was discovered. 


If a historic sketch of Spanish intercourse with the ZuHi people indi- 
cates that little change was wrought on their native mood by so many 
years of alien contact, an outline of their pristine history, or a sketch of 
their growth and formation as a people, will serve yet further to show 
not only how, but also why, this was so, as well as to explain much in 
the following outlines of their myths of creation and migration, the 
meaning of which would otherwise remain obscure. 

'Some of the primitive Zuni methods of working metals are incideutally described 
in my paper entitled " Primitive Copper-working, an Experimental Study,'' in The 
American Anthropologist, Washington, January, 1894, pp. 193-217. 


Linguistically the Zuni Indians of today stand aloue, unrelated, so 
far as Las heretofore been determined, to any other Indians either seden- 
tary, like themselves, or unsettled, like the less advanced peoples of the 
plains. Nevertheless, although they as yet thus constitute a single 
linguistic stock, there are present and persistent among them two 
distinct types of physique and numerous survivals — inherited, not 
borrowed — of the arts, customs, myths, and institutions of at least two 
peoples, unrelated at first, or else separate and very diversely condi- 
tioned for so long a period of their preunited history that their develop- 
ment had progressed unequally and along quite different lines, at the 
time of their final coalition. That thus the Zunis are actually descend- 
ants of two or more peoples, and the heirs of two cultures at least, is 
well shown in their legends of ruins and olden times, and especially in 
these myths of creation and migration as interpreted by archeologic 
and ethnographic research. 

According to all these tokens and evidences, one branch of their 
ancestral people was, as compared with the other, aboriginal in the 
region comprising the present Zuiii country and extending far toward 
the north, whence at some remoter time they had descended. The other 
branch was intrusive, from the west or southwest, the country of the 
lower Eio Colorado, their earliest habitat not so clearly defined and 
their remoter derivation enigmatical, for they were much more given to 
wandering, less advanced in the peaceful arts, and their earliest ruins 
are those of comparatively rude and simple structures, hence scant and 
difficult to trace, at least beyond the western borders of Arizona. Con- 
sidering both of these primary or parental stocks of the Zuiii as having 
been thus so widely asunder at first, the ancestral relations of the aborig- 
inal or northern branch probablj' ranged the plains north of the arid 
mountain region of Utah and Colorado ere they sought refuge in the 
desert and canyons of these territories. Yet others of their descend- 
ants, if still surviving, may not unlikely be traced among not only 
other Pueblos, but also and more distinctly among wilder and remoter 
branches, probably of the Shoshouean stock. The ancestral relations 
of the intrusive or western branch, however, were a people resembling 
the semisettled Tumans and Piraans in mode of life, their ruins com- 
bining types of structure characteristic of both these stocks; and if 
their descendants, other than Zuiiis themselves, be yet identified among 
Tuman tribes, or some like people of the lower Colorado region, they 
will be found (such of them as survive) not greatly changed, probably, 
from the condition they were all iu when, at a very distant time, their 
eastward faring kinsfolk, who ultimately became Zunis, left them there. 

It is quite certain that relatives, in a way— not ancestral— of the 
Zunis still exist. Not many years before Fray Marcos de Niza discov- 
ered Cibola, the Zunians conquered some small towns of the Keres 
to the south-southeastward of the Zuni-Cibola country, and adopted 
some of the survivors and also some of their ritual-dramas— still per- 


formed, and distinctively Keresan ia kind — into tbeir own tribe. Pre- 
viously to that — previously, indeed, to their last and greatest union with 
the settled people mentioned as the aboriginal Zuui — a large body of the 
western branch and their earlier fellows (called in the myths of crea- 
tion " Our lost others ") separated from them in the country south 
and west of the Eio Puerco and the Colorado Ohiquito, and went, not 
wholly as related in the myths, yet quite, undoubtedly, far away to 
the southward. I have identiiied and traced their remains in Arizona 
toward and into Mexico as far as the coast, and if, as the Zunis still 
believe, any of them survive to this day, they are to be looked for lower 
down in Mexico or in the still farther south, whither, it is said, they 
disappeared so long ago. But, as before intimated, these relatives (by 
adoption in the one case, by derivation in the other) were not, strictly 
speaking, ancestral, and thus are barely alluded to in the myths, and 
therefore concern us less than do the two main or parental branches. 

Of these, the one which contributed more largely in numbers, certain 
culture characteristics, and the more peaceful arts of life to make the 
Zniiis what they were at the time of the Spanish conquest, was the 
aboriginal branch. The intrusive or western branch is, strange to say, 
although least numerous, the one most told of in the myths, the one 
which speaks throughout them in the first person ; that is, which claims 
to be the original Shiwi or Zuili. Of this branch it is unnecessary to 
say much more here than the myths themselves declare, save to add 
that it was, if not the conquering, at least, and for a long time, the 
dominant one; that to it the Zunis owe their vigor and many, if not 
most, of their distinguishing traits ; and that, coming as they did from 
the west, they located there, and not in the north, as did all these other 
Pueblo Indians (including even those whom they found and prevailed 
over, or were joined by, in the present land of Zuni), the place where 
the human family originated, where the ancestral gods chiefly dwell, 
and whither after death souls of men are supposed to return anon. 

According to their own showing in the myths they were, while a 
masterful people, neither so numerous at the time of their coming, nor 
so advanced, nor so settled, as were the peoples whom they ''overtook" 
from time to time as theyneared the land of Zuni or the " Middle of the 
Avorld." They did not cultivate the soil, or, at least, apparently did not 
cultivate corn to any considerable extent before they met the first of 
these peoples, for, to use their own words, they were " ever seeking seeds 
of the grasses like birds on the mesas." 

There is abundant reason for supposing that the "elder nations " — 
these peoples whom they " overtook," the " People of the Dew," the 
" Black people," and the " Corn people " of the " towns builded round"— 
were direct and comparatively unchanged descendants of the famous 
cliff" dwelleis of the Mancos, San Juan, and other canyons of Utah. 
Colorado, and northern New Mexico. The evidences of this are numer- 
ous and detailed, but only the principal of theui need here be examined. 

344 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.w 

The ruins of these rounded towns of the Corn tribes which Hernando 
de Alvarado and Fray Juan de Padilla saw in 1540 while going south- 
eastward from Zuni, are especially characteristic of the Zuiii region, 
and extend quite generally both southward toward the Eito Quemado 
and the Salinas in western central New Mexico, and, by Avay of the 
Chaco, northward nearly to the Colorado boundary. They are as often 
half round as they are wholly oblong or circular, and even when com- 
pletely rounded or oval in outline are usually divided into two semicir- 
cular parts by an irregular court or series of courts extending lengthwise 
through the middle, and thus making them really double villages of the 
half-round type. 

A comparison of the ground plans of these round or semicircular 
ruins with those of the typical cliff ruins reveals the fact that they 
were simply cliff towns transferred, as it were, to the level of the open 
plains or mesa tops. Their outer or encircling walls were, save at the 
extremities of the courts, generally unbroken and perpendicular, as 
uninterrupted and sheer, almost, as were the natural canyon walls sur- 
rounding to the rearward the older cliff towns to which they thus cor- 
responded and which they apparently were built to replace; and the 
houses descended like steps from these outer walls in terraced stories, 
facing, like the seats of an amphitheater, the open courts, precisely as 
descended the terraced stories of the cliff dwellings from the encircling 
rock walls of the sheltered ledges or shelves on which they were 
reared, necessarily facing in the same manner the open canyons below. 
Thus the courts may be supposed to have replaced the canyons, as the 
outer walls replaced the cliffs or the back walls built nearest them in 
the rear of at least the deeper village caves or shelters. 

Other structural and kindred features of the cliff towns are fo'znd to 
be equally characteristic of the round ruins, features which, originating 
in the conditions of building and dwelling in the cliffs, came to be 
perpetuated in the round towns afterward built on the plains. 

So liujited was the foothold afforded by the scant ledges or in the 
sheltered but shallow hollows of the cliffs where the ancient cliff" 
dwellers were at first forced as a measure of safety to take refuge and 
finally to build, that they had to economize space to the utmost. Hence 
in part only the women and children, being smaller and more in need 
of protection than the men, were accommodated with dwelling places 
as such, the rooms of which were so diminutive that, to account for 
them, theories of the dwarfish size of the cliff dwellers as a race have 
been common. As a further measure of economy these rooms were 

built atop of one another, sometimes to the height of several stories 

up, in fact, to the very roof at the rear of the cavern in most cases^ 
and thence they were terraced toward the front in order that light 
and ail- might be admitted as directly as possible to each story. 

For the double purpose of accommodating the men and of serving 
as assembly rooms for councils and ceremonial functions, large circular 


chambers were constructed almost always out in front of the terraced 
dwelling cells of the women and children, and thus in the more exposed 
mouths of the caverns or shelters the villages nestled in. These round 
assembly rooms or kivas Avere often, indeed, built up from sloping por- 
tions of the sheer outer edge of the village cave shelf, in order to be as 
much as x)ossible on a level with or even below the limited ground space 
between them and the houses farther back, so that the front along the 
lower and outermost row of these house cells might remain open and 
unobstructed to passage. 

The dwelling rooms or house cells themselves were made as nearly 
rectangular as was practicable, for only partitions divided them; but 
of necessity such as were placed far back toward or against the encir- 
cling and naturally curved rock walls, or the rear masonry walls, built 
in conformity to their curvature in all the deeper caves, had small 
triangular or keystone-shape spaces between their partitions. These, 
being too small for occupancy even by children, were used as store- 
rooms for graiu and other household supplies. When the cave in 
which a village was built happened to be very deep, the living rooms 
could not be carried too far back, as neither light nor sufficient air 
could reach them there; hence here, chiefly against the rear wall or the 
cave back itself, were built other storerooms more or less trapezoidal 
in shape, according to the degree of curvature in the rock face against 
which they were built, or, as said before, of the rear wall itself, which 
in the deeper caves often reached from floor to roof and ran parallel to 
the natural semicircular back of the cavern. 

Against the rearward face of such back walls when present (that is, 
between them and the rear of the cave itself), behind the village 
proper, if space further permitted, small rooms, ordinarily of one story, 
or pens, sometimes roofless, were built for the housing of the flocks of 
turkeys which the cliff dwellers kept. Beyond these poultry houses 
was still kept, in the deeper village caves, a space, dark and filled with 
loose soil and rubbish, in which certain of the dead; mostly men, were 
buried; while other dead were interred beneath the floors of the lower- 
most rooms, when the soil or sand filled in to level up the sloping 
rock bottom of the shelter was sufficiently deep to receive them. 

A noteworthy peculiarity of the doorways in the upper stories leading 
toward the rearward storerooms already described was that they were 
often made T-shape; that is, very narrow at the bottom and abruptly 
widened at the top. This was done in order to avoid the necessity of 
making these openings for entrance and egress too large proportionally 
to the small size of the rooms. Thus, neither were the walls weakened 
nor were the inmates needlessly exposed to cold; for fuel, even of the 
lightest kind, was gathered with risk and transported thither with 
great difficulty, and the use of it was therefore limited to cookery, and 
yet a person bearing a back load of corn or other provender might, by 
stepping first one foot, then the other, through the narrow lower portion 

346 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann13 

of such a doorway, then stooping with his blanket or basket load, pass 
through without inconvenience or the necessity of unloading. 

Nearly all of these features— so suited to, and some of them evidently 
so unavoidable with, a people building eyrie-like abodes high up on 
limited sloping ledges in pockets of the cliffs— were, although they were 
totally unnecessary to the dwellers in the half-round or double half- 
round towns of the plains, where space was practically unlimited and 
topographic and other conditions wholly different, nevertheless charac- 
teristic of these also. 

Not only were the external walls of these old villages of the plains 
semicircular, as though built in conformity with the curved rock walls 
of the hollows in the cliffs, but they were continuous. That is, in all 
the rounded town ruins, except those which seem to have been recon- 
structed in more recent times, the outer walls were built first as great 
semicircular inclosures, hollow artificial cliffs, so to say, and afterward 
the house walls were built up against them inside, not into them, as 
they would have been had these outer and tlie inner walls been built up 
together. Moreover, not only Avere the ground plans of these towns of 
the plains semicircular, as though built in conformity with the curved 
rock walls of hollows in the cliffs in ancestral fashion, but the store- 
rooms were also still tucked away in the little flaring spaces next to 
these now outer and surrounding walls, instead of being placed near 
the more convenient entrances fronting the courts. The huts or sheds 
for the turkeys, too, were placed not in the inclosures of the courts, 
but against and outside of these external walls of the villages; and 
while many of the dead were buried, as iu the cliff houses, under the 
floors of the lowermost rooms, others of them, almost always men, and 
notably victims of war or accident, were still buried out beyond even 
the turkey huts. So both the turkey huts and some of the graves of 
these round villages retained the same positions relative to one another 
and to the "rearward" of the dwellings that had very naturally been 
given them in the cliff villages ; for in these, being behind the houses 
and iu the rear of the caves, they occupied the most protected areas; 
while in the rounil villages, being behind the houses, they were thrown 
quite outside of tlie villages, hence occupied the most exposed positions, 
which latter fact would appear inexplicable save by considering it as 
a survival of cliff-town usage. 

The kivas, or assembly rooms of the round villages, were placed gen- 
erally in front of the houses facing the courts, as of old they had been 
built in the mouths of the caverns, also in front of the houses facing 
tlie canyons. Moreover, they were, although no longer in the way, 
wholly or in part subterranean, that is, sunk to the level of the court 
or plaza, as in the cliff towns they had been built (except where crowd- 
ing rendered it necessary to make them two-storied, as in some cases) 
up the front slopes only to the height of the general cave floor or of 
the lowermost house foundations. 


Finally, there were no doorways in the lower stories of the rounded 
villages, the roofs of which were reached by ladders: but in the upper 
stories there were passages, some of which, although here no longer so 
needfully small, were still economically fashioned as of old — wide at 
the top, narrow at the base, like the T-shape granary avenues of the 
cliff ruins. 

The closeness of correspondence of all these features in the rouTid 
ruins t o those in the cliff ruins (features which in the round ruins appear 
less in place than in at least the older cliff ruins) would seem to justify 
my conclusion, earlier stated, that the round towns were simply out- 
growths of the cliff villages, transplanted, as it were, into the plains; 
for all of these features, as they occur in the old cliff ruins, can, with 
but a single exception (that of the circular form of the kivas or assem- 
bly chambers, which, as will ])resently be shown, were survivals of a yet 
older x>hase of building), be accounted for as having originated from 
necessity, whereas in the round ruins they could not have originated 
even as possible ^pedients, since they were unsuitable save by having 
become customary through long usage. 

I have reasserted this fact because the theory that all cliff dwellings 
were but outlying places of refuge or the hunting and farming stations 
of larger pueblos in their neighborhood, strongly fortified by position 
in order that the small parties occupying them now and then for longer 
or shorter seasons might find safe retreat in them, has been advanced 
quite successfully. As this theory is not unlikely to gain a consider- 
able hearing, it is necessary to demonsti'ate even more fully the fact 
that at least the round towns did not give their structural character- 
istics to such of the northern cliff' ruins as resembled them in plan, and 
that therefore the latter are to be regarded as actual cliff-dweller 
remains. In the southern portions of New Mexico and Arizona, as on 
the upper Salado and in canyons of the Sierra Madre, still farther south, 
all the cliff dwellings and villages were built without reference to the 
curved forms of the caverns in which they occurred.' That is, they 
rigidly retained the rectangular pueblo form of arrangement charac- 
teristic of the larger ruins in the valleys and plains around them. 
Hence for this and for other reasons they may be regarded as pueblos 
transferred to the cliffs, such outposts of the larger pueblos of the 
plains as it is claimed all cliff dwellings were. So, also, as hitherto 
intimated, many of the later cliff dwellings, even of the north, have 
rectangular pueblo additions below them in the canyons or above 
them on the mesas, and some of the village ruins in the cave shelters 
themselves are almost faithful miniature reproductions in general plan 
of the large pueblos of the plains near at hand; but in the one case 
the pueblo additions above and below were comparatively modern, and 
indicate either that the cliff dwellings they are adjacent to continued 

'See Banrlelier, Final Report of Investigations among the Indians of the South- 
western United States, etc., Part ii, pp. 425-428. 

348 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [bth.ann.13 

to be occupied down to the time of later true pueblo building, or tliat 
they were reoccupied from comparatively mod-ru pueblos and that all 
additions made were constructed according to customary later forms 
of building. In the other case, that of the rectangular structures in 
semicircular cave shelters, either a return to cliff dwelling from pueblo 
dwelling is indicated, or, as with the southern cliff villages, these also 
were outposts of comparatively modern kinds of pueblos occurring in 
the neighborhood. Such, for example, was the case with many of the 
cliff dwellings of the Tsegi or Canyon de Chelly, some of which con- 
tinued to be occupied long after the more easterly towns of the San 
JuaTi were abandoned, and others of which were reoccupied, probably 
by Tusayau Indians, in comparatively recent time. 

The occurrence of sepulchers in or near almost all the San Juan cliff 
raius would alone indicate that they were central and permanent homes 
of the people who built and occupied them. The surviving Pueblo 
Indians, so far as I am aware, never bury in or near their outlying 
towns. Invariably the dead are taken to the central pueblo home of 
the tribe for sepulture, as there only may they become tribal fetiches 
in the manner I have heretofore indicated, and be properly renounced 
by the clans of kin at their place of birth and rearing. If, then, all 
the cliff towns were merely outlying strongholds, no interments of the 
original inhabitants would be found in them save those of children per- 
chance born and reared in them. In fact, this is precisely the case with 
some, of the towns in question, those above described as manifestly 
settlements from later true pueblos. 

Another feature of the older cliff dwellings is still more significant in 
this connection — the presence of the kiva ; for the kiva or sacred assem. 
bly room was never, for mythic and sociologic reasons, built in tempo- 
rary or outlying settlements. The mere council chamber was sometimes 
present in these, but the true kiva never, so long as they remained resorts 
of more central pueblo towns, for each kiva of such a town located 
a division of the tribe as pertaining to one or another of the quarters 
or mythic divisions. Hence, as might be expected, in the more south- 
erly cliff dwellings belonging to more recent pueblos no kiva is ever 

The evidence furnished by the kivas is significant in other ways, for 
in connection with the above theory the claim has also been advanced 
that the chff villages were occupied for only brief periods at best; 
that they do not, as assumed by me, represent a phase — so much as an 
incident— in the development of a people. Aside Irom the linguistic, 
sociologic, and other evidence I have to ofier later on that of not only 
these kivas, but also of certain other features of the ruins themselves, 
is decidedly indicative of both long and continuous occupancy; and an 
examination of this evidence helps to an understanding of the culture 
growth of the early cliff dwellers as being not that of Pueblos at first, 
but that of Pueblo ancestry, Pueblos developing. 


Occurring in the midst of the greater groups of northern cliff dwell- 
ings, no less than somewhat more scatteringly and widely distributed 
to at least as far south as the middle of Arizona, are remains of cave 
dwellings of an older type. They are usually lower down in the cliffs, 
although they once occurred also in the larger and more accessible of 
the caverns now occupied by later cliff-house remains, underneath or 
amid which remains they may still in places be traced. These rude 
and very ancient cave dwellings mark the beginnings of the cliff occu- 
pancy. In all essentials they correspond to the modern cave dwellings 
of the Sierra Madre in Sonora, Mexico, so admirably described by my 
friend. Dr. Carl Lumholtz, as built and still lived in by the Tarahumari 
and Tepehuani Indians, who survive either in the state of these first 
cliff" dwellers of the north, or, as is more probable, have naturally and 
independently resorted to a similar mode of life through stress of similar 

Like the Tarahumdri, these ancient people of the north at first 
resorted to the caves during only portions of the year — during the 
inclement season after each harvest, as well as in times of great danger. 
At other times, and during the hunting, planting, and seed-gathering 
seasons. particularly, they dwelt, as do the Tarahum4ri, in rancherias, 
the distinctive remains of which lie scattered near and far on the 
plateaus and plains or in the wide valleys. But the caves were their 
central abodes, and the rancherias, frequently shifted, were simply out- 
lying stations such as are the farming hamlets of the modern pueblos. 

The earliest of these dwellings in the caves were at first simple huts 
disposed separately along the rear walls of these recesses in the cliffs. 
They usually had foundation walls, approximately circular in plan, of 
dry-laid stones, upon which rested upper converging courses of cross- 
laid logs and sticks, hexagonal and pen-like covers surmounted, as were 
the rancherias of the open plains, by more or less high-pitched roofs of 
thatch — here in the shelters added rather for protection from cold than 
from storms of rain and snow. 

But in course of time, as the people dwelling, when needful, in these 
secure retreats increased in numbers, and available caves became filled, 
the huts, especially in the more suitable shelters, were crowded together 
in each, until no longer built separately, but in irregularly continuous 
rows or groups at the rear, each divided from others by simple, gener- 
ally straight, partitions, as are the dwelling divisions of the Tarahumdri 
today. But unlike the latter, these hut like rooms of the northern cave- 
dwellers were still rounded outwardly, that is, each hut (where not con- 
tiguous to or set in the midst of others, as was the case with those along 
the front), retained, its circular form. The partitions and foundation 
walls were still built low, and stUl surmounted by converging cross- laid 
upper courses of logs or saplings and roofs of thatch. As with the 
Tarahumari, so with these earliest cliff dwellers of the north; their 
granaries were far more perfectly constructed than their own abiding 

350 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

places. To adequately protect their store oi provision from seed- 
devouring aninials, no less than from tlie elements, it became necessary 
to place it in dry crannies or pockets of the cliffs near at hand, pre- 
ferably in recesses as far back in their caves as possible, and also to 
seal it up in these uatural receptacles. At first (as may be seen in 
connection with the caves of Las Tusas, Arizona, containing some of 
the oldest and rudest separate hut remains I have yet examined) the 
mouths of these receptacles were walled up with dry-laid stones, care- 
fully chinked, and plastered inside with mud, precisely as were the 
granary pockets of the Havasupai Indians seen by me in 1881. Later, 
while still .the houses continued to be mere low- walled and partitioned 
sheds or huts of dry masonry, these granaries came to be quite well 
constructed, of mud-laid walls, and were enlarged, as stores increased 
with increase of settlement and tillage, until they had to be built out- 
ward from the niches like good sized, slightly tapering bins, protruding 
somewhat from the cave walls, and finally forming, as do the granaries 
of the Tarahumari today, miniature prototypes of the perfected single 
cliff" house of a far later day. 

In times of great danger small children were not infrequently 
bestowed for safe-keeping in the larger of these little granary rooms in 
the deepest recesses at the rear of the earliest cave villages, as the 
finding of their remains without burial token in such situation has 
attested; and thus the folk tales which modern Pueblos tell of chil- 
dren left in the granary rooms and surviving the destruction or flight of 
their elders by subsisting on the scant store remaining therein (later to 
emerge — so the stories run — as great warrior-magicians and deliver their 
captive elders), are not wholly without foundation in the actual past of 
their ancestry. It was thus that these first cliff' dwellers learned to build 
walls of stone with mud mortar, and thus, as their numbers increased 
(through immunity from destruction which, ever better, these cliff' holds 
aff'orded), the women, who from, the beginning had built and owned the 
granaries, learned also to build contiguously to them, in the depths of 
the caverns, other granary-like cells somewhat larger, not as ijlaces of 
abode, at first, but as retreats for themselves and their children. 

It is not needful to trace further the development of the cliff' village 
proper into a home for the women and children, which first led to the 
tucking of storerooms far back in the midst of the houses; nor is it 
necessary to seek outside of such simple beginnings the causes which 
first led to the construction of the kivas, always by the men for them- 
selves, and nearly always out in front of the house cells, which led to the 
retention for ages of the circular form iu these kivas and to the survival 
in them for a longtime (as chambers of council and mystery, where the 
souls of the ancients of men communed in these houses of old with the 
souls of their children's grandchildren) of the cross- laid upper courses of 
logsand even the roofings of thatch. Indeed, itisonly in some way like 
this, as survival through slow evolution of archaic structures for worship. 


that tliepersistence of all these strange features — the retention for use of 
the men, the position in front of the houses, the converging hexagonal 
log Avail caps, the unj)lastered roofing of thatch — until long after the 
building of houses for everyday use by the women, with walls contin- 
uous from floor to ceiling, with flat and mud-plastered roofs and smooth 
finishing inside and out, manifest themselves. 

Of equal significance with this persistency of survival in the kiva, as 
to both structural type and function, of the earliest cave-dwelling hut- 
rooms through successively higher stages in the development of cliff 
architecture, is the trace of its growth ever outward; for in nearly or 
quite all of the largest cliff ruins, while as a rule the kivas occur, as 
stated, along the fronts of the houses — that is, farthest out toward the 
mouths of the caverns — some are found quite far back in the midst of 
the houses. But in every instance of this kind which I have examined 
these kivas farthest back within the cell cluster proper are not only the 
oldest, but in other ways plainly mark the line of the original boundary 
or frontage of th6 entire village. And in some of the largest of these 
ruins this frontage line has thus been extended; that is, the houses 
have grown outward arouud and past the kivas first built in front of 
them, and then, to accommodate increased assemblies, successively 
built in front of them and in greater numbers, not ouce or twice, but 
in some cases as many as three, four, and in one instance five times. 

All this makes it plain, I think, that the cave and cliff dweller mode 
of life was a phase, not an incident merely, in the development of a 
people, and that this same jieople in general occupied these same caves 
continuously or successively for generations — how long it is needless 
here to ask, but long enough to work up adaptively, and hence by 
very slow degrees, each one of the little natural hints they received 
from the circumstances and necessities of their situation in the caves 
and cliffs into structural and other contrivances, so ingenious and suit- 
able and so far-fetched, apparently, so long used, too, as to give rise 
to permanent usages, customs, and sociologic institutions, that it has 
been well-nigh impossible to trace them to such original simple begin- 
nings as have been pointed out in the case of a few of them. 

The art remains of both the earliest cave dwellers and of the cliff' 
dwellers exhibit a like continuity of adaptive development; for even 
where uses of implements, etc., changed with changing conditions, they 
still show survivals of their original, diverse uses, thus revealing the 
antecedent condition to which they were adapted. 

Moreover, this line of development was, as with the structural fea- 
tures already reviewed, unbroken from first to last — from cave to 
cliff", and from cliff to round-town conditions of life; for the art 
remains of the round ruins, of which I recovered large numbers when 
conducting the excavations of the Hemenway expedition in ruins east 
of Zuni, are with scarcely an exception identical, in type at least, with 
those of the cliff ruins, although they are more highly developed, espe- 

362 ZU>'I CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

cially the potteries, as naturally they came to be under the less r^tricted, 
more favorable conditions of life in the open plains. Everything, in 
fact, to be learned of tlie round-ruin people points quite unmistakably 
to their descent in a twofold sense from the clifif-dwelling people; and 
it remains necessary, therefore, only to account for their change of hab- 
itat and to set forth their supposed relationship finally to the modern 
ZuDi pueblos. 

In earlier writings, especially iu a "Study of Pueblo Pottery,"' 
where the linguistic evidence of the derivation of the Zuiiis from cliff- 
dwelling peoples is to some extent discussed, I have suggested that 
the j)rime cause of the abandonment of the cliffs by their ancestry was 
most ijrobably increase of population to beyond the limits of available 
building area, and consequent overcrowding in the cliffs; but later 
researches have convinced me that, although this was no doubt a potent 
factor in the case and ultimately, in connection with the obvious 
advantages of life in more accessible dwelling places, led by slow 
degrees, as the numbers and strength of the cliff villages made it possi- 
ble, to the building of contiguous pueblos both above their cliffs on the 
mesas and below them iu the valleys, still it was by no means the only 
oi' the first cause of removal from these secure strongholds. Nor is it 
to be inferred from the evidence at hand that the cliff dwellers were 
ever driven forth from their almost inaccessible towns, either by stress 
of warfare or by lack of the means of subsistence, as has been so often 
supposed. On the contrary, it is certain that long after the earliest 
descents into the i)lains had been ventured, the cliffs continued to be 
occupied, at first and for a very long period as the permanent homes 
of remnant tribes, and later as winter resorts and places of refuge in 
times of danger for these latter tribes, as well as, perhaps, for their 
kinsfolk of the plains. 

It is by this supposition only that the comparatively modern form 
of the square and terraced pueblos built contiguously to the latest 
abandoned of the cliff" towns may be explained. For when the cliff 
dwellers had become numerous enough to be able to maintain them- 
selves to some extent out on the open plains, it has been seen that they 
did not consider their villages safe and convenient or quite right unless 
builded strictly, in both general form and the relative arrangement 
of parts, as had been for many generations their towns in the cliffs — did 
not, it is reasonable to suppose, know at once how to build villages of 
any other form. Thus we may confidently regard these round towns as 
the earliest built by the cliff dwellers after they first left the cliffs. 

The direction in which these cavoid or cliff-form or rounded village 
ruins may be farthest and most abundantly traced, is, as has been said 
before, to the southward into and through the land of Zuui as far as 
the clififless valleys bordering the Eito Quemado region in southerly 
central New Mexico, wherein lies the inexhaustible Lakeof Salt, which 

' Fourth Annual Eeport of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1882-83. 


the early Spauish chronicles mention as the possession and source of 
supply of the "salt in kernels" of the Zuiii-Cibolans. 

Not only did a trail (used for such long ages that I have found it 
brokenly traceable for hundreds of miles) lead down from the cliff-town 
country to this broad valley of the Lake of Salt, but also there have 
been found in nearly all the cliff' dwellings of the Mancos and San Juan 
section, whence this trail descends, salt in the characteristic kernels 
and colors found in this same source of the Zuni supply. 

This salt, as occurring in the cliff ruins, is commonly discovered 
wrapped in receptacles of corn husk, neatly tied into a trough like 
form or pouch by bauds of corn-leaf or yucca fiber. These pouches 
are precisely like the " wraps of the ancients," or packs of corn husk 
in which the sacred salt is ceremoniously brought home in advance of 
the cargoes of common salt by the Zuni priests on each occasion of their 
annual, and especially of their greater quadrennial, pilgrimages (in 
June, after the planting) to the Lake of Salt. And it is not difficult 
to believe that both the packs and the pilgrimages — which latter offer 
many suggestive features not to be considered here — are survivals of 
the time when the remoter cliff-dwe ling ancestry of the ZuHi Corn tribes 
ventured once in a period of years to go forth, in parties large enough 
for mutual protection, to the far-off" source of their supply of salt. 

Except this view be taken it is difficult to conceive why the "time 
after planting" should have become so established by the Zunis (who 
are but two days' foot-journey Irom the lake, and visit its neighborhood 
at other periods of the year on hunting and other excursions) as the 
only period for the taking of the salt — to take which, indeed, by them 
or others at any other season, is held to be dire sacrilege. 

But to the cliff dwellers and their first descendants of the farther 
north this period "after the planting" was the only available one of 
the year ; for the journey along their trail of salt must have consumed 
many days, and been so fraught with danger as to have drawn away a 
goodly portion of the warrior population who could ill be spared at a 
later time in the season when the ripening and garnering of the harvest 
drew back upon the cliff-towns people the bands of predatory savages 
who annually pillaged their outlying fields, and in terror of whom they 
for so long a time clung to their refuge in the cliffs. 

Additional considerations lead further to the inference not only that 
the Zunis inherit their pilgrimages for the salt and the commemorative 
and other ceremonials which have developed around them directly from 
the cliff-dweller branch of their ancestry, but also that these latter were 
led down from the cliffs to build and dwell in their round towns along 
the trail of salt chiefly, if not wholly, by the desire to at once shorten 
and render less dangerous their communal expeditions to the Lake of 
Salt and to secure more exclusive possession thereof. 

These two objects were rendered equally and the more desirable by 
the circumstance, strongly indicated by both the salt remains them- 
13 ETH 23 

354 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

selves and by usages surviviug among the present Zuiiis, that in course 
of time an extensive trade in salb of this paiticular variety grew up 
between the cliff dwellers and more northern and western tribes. 
When found by the Spaniards the Zuni-Oibolans were still carrying on 
an extensive trade ia this salt, which for practical as well as assumed 
mythic reasons they permitted no ethers to gather, and which they 
guarded so jealously that their wars with the Keresan and other 
tribes to the south- southeastward of their country were caused — as 
many of their later wars with the Navajo have been caused — by slight 
encroachments on the exclusive right to the products of the lake to 
which the Zunis laid claim. 

The salt of this lake is superior to any other found in the southwest, 
not excepting that of the Manzano salinas, east of the Eio Grande, 
which nevertheless' was as strenuously fought for and guarded by the 
Tanoan tribes settled around these salinas, and had in like manner, 
indeed, drawu their ancestry down from earlier cavate homes in the 
northern mountains. Hence it was preferred (as it still is by both 
Indian and white population of New Mexico and Arizona) to all other 
kinds, and commanded such price that in the earlier cliff-packs I have 
found it adulterated with other kinds from the nearer salt marshes 
which occur in southern^ Utah and southwestern Colorado. That the 
adulteration of the lake salt with the slightly alkaline and bitter salt 
of the neighboring marshes was thus practiced with a view to eking 
out the trade supply is conclusively shown, I think, by the presence in 
the same cliff homes from which the adulterated specimens were 
obtained, of abundant specimens of the unadulterated salt, and this as 
conclusively shows not only that the cliff dwellers traded in this salt, 
as do their modern Zuni representatives, but also that it was then, as 
now, more highly valued than other kinds of salt in the southwest. 
. The influence on the movements of whole tribes of people which it 
is here assumed such a source of favorite salt -supply as this exerted 
over the early, cliff dwellers., does not stand alone in the history of 
American tribes. It already^has been intimated that the Tanoans so far 
prized their comparatively inferior source of salt supply in the salinas 
of tUe Manzano as to have been induced to settle there and surround 
them with a veritable cordon of their pueblos. 

Another and far more signiiicant instance, that of the Cerro de Sal 
in Peru may be '.mentioned, for in that country not only was salt of 
various kinds to be found. in many valleys and throughout nearly all 
the deserts of the Medano region extending from northern Ecuador to 
southern Chili, but the sea also lay near at band along the entire 
western border of this vast stretch of country; ,yet from remote parts 
of South America trails lead, 'some from the Amazon and from Argentina, 
more than a thousand miles away, some from nearer points and from 
all local directions to this famous "Cerro de Sal." The salt from this 
locality was, like. that of the. Lake of Salt, so highly prized that it 


drew aborigiual populations about it in even pre-Incan days, and was 
a source of supply, as well as, it is affirmed, of abundant tribute to those 
dominant Pueblos of South America, tbe Incas of later days.' 

That the Lake of Salt, as a coveted source, actually did influence the 
earlier descents of the cliff" dwellers, and did lead to the building and 
occupancy by them of the long line of ruins I have described, rests, 
finally, on linguistic uo less than on such comparative evidence as has 
already been indicated. In turn, this leads to consideration of the 
larger and at present more pertinent evidence that these dwellers in 
the round towns were in part ancestors of the Zuuis, and that thus, as 
assumed at the outset, the Zuuis are of composite, at least dual, origin, 
and that their last, still existing, i^hase of culture is of dual derivation. 

The archaic and sacred name for the south in Zuni is Alahoinkwin 
tdhna, but the name more commonly employed — always in familiar or 
descriptive discourse — is Mdk^yaiakwin tdhna (that is, the "direction 
of the salt-containing water or lake," from ma, salt; k'yata, water, or 
lake-containing of bearing; fcmw, place of, and tdhna, point or direc- 
tion of). That this name should have displaced the older form in familiar 
usage is significant of the great importance attached to their source of 
salt by the early Zunis; yet but natural, for the older form, Alaho'in- 
kicin tdhna, signifies "in the direction of the home (or source) of the 
coral' shells," from dlaho, glowing red shell-stuff'; mkiv'in, abiding place 
oi, or containing place 'of, and tdhna. This source of the dlahowe or 
coral red shells (which are derived from several species of subtropical 
moUusks, and we; e so highly prized by the southwestern tribes that the 
Indians of the lower Colorado traded in them as assiduously as did 
thoseof the cliff's and round towns in salt) has been for generations the 
Gulf of California and the lower coast to beyond Guaymas. 

It is not improbable, then, that this archaic and now exclusively rit- 
ualistic expression i'or the southward or the south is a surviving para- 
phrase of the name for south (or of the source in the south of the red 
shells), formerly known to the western branch of the Zuni ancestry, and 
once familiarly used by them to designate also, perhaps, the direction 
of the source of their chief treasure (these coral red shells of aboriginal 
commerce), as in the Gulf of California, which was then south of tliem, 
but is now due west-southwestward from them. 

What renders this suppositiou still more probable, and also strength- 
ens the theory of the dual origin of many parallelisms in Zuiii culture, 
observances, and phraseology, is not so much the fact that this name 
for red shells and the archaic Zuni name for red paint, dhona, resem- 
ble in sound and meaning the Yuman ahowata, ahauti, etc., for red 
paint, nor yet the fact that such resemblance extends to many archaic 
and other terms, for example of relationship in tbe Zuni as compared 

'A parallel world example of the influence of salt sources on the movements of 
primitive peoples may be found in the fact that all the great historic trade routes 
across Asia were iirst established along salt trails of prehistoric times. 


especially with corresponding terms in the Yavapai Tulkepaiya and 
other dialects of the Yumaii. In fact, all the terms in ZuiJi for the four 
quarters are twofold and different, according as used familiarly or rit- 
ualistically. That for west, for instance, is in the archaic and ritual- 
istic form, K^ydlisMmJacin tdhna, and signifies " direction of the home, 
or source of mists and waters, or the sea;" which, when the Zufii abode 
in the farther southwest near the Pacific, was the appropriate name for 
west. But the familiar name for west in modern Zufii is SiinhaJcw'in 
tdhna, the " direction of the place of evening," which is today equally 
appropriate for their plateau-encircled home of the far inland. 

"North," in the archaic form, is now nearly lost; yet in some of the 
more mystic rituals it occurs as both Wimaiyawan tdhna ( Wikutaiya 
is "north" in the Yuma), "direction of the oak mountains," and Yd'la- 
waunankwin tdhna, literally "direction of the place of the mountain 
ranges," which from the lower Colorado and southern Arizona are toward 
the north, but from northern Zuiii are not so conspicuous as in the 
other direction, as, for instance, toward the southwest. On the other 
hand, if we consider the familiar phrase for north, P'ish'lanhw'in tdhna, 
"direction of the wind-swept plains," or of the "plains of the mightiest 
winds," to have been inherited from the aboriginal round- town Zunis, 
then it was natural enough for them to have named the north as they 
did; for to the north of their earlier homes in the cliffs and beyond lay 
the measureless plains where roamed the strong Bison (Jod of Winds, 
whence came his fierce northern breath and bellowings in the roar of 
storms in winter. 

The east, in common language, signifies "direction of the coming of 
day;" but in the ritual speech signifies "direction of the plains of day- 
light " — a literal description of the great Yuma desert as seen at day- 
break from the Colorado region, but scarcely applicable to the country 
eastward from Zuui, which is rugged and broken until the Llanos 
Estacados of Texas are reached. 

The diverse meaning of terms in Zufii architecture is no less signifi- 
cant of the diverse conditions and opposite directions of derivation of 
the Zuiii ancestry. If the aboriginal branch of the Zuni were derived 
from the dwellers in the northern cliff towns, as has been assumed, 
then we would expect to find surviving in the names of such structural 
features of their pueblos as resulted from life in the clifis linguistic 
evidence, as in the structures themselves material evidence, of the fact. 
Of this, as will presently be shown, there is an abundance. 

If the intrusive branch of the Zuni ancestry were, as has also been 
assumed, of extreme southwestern origin, then we should expect to find 
linguistic evidence of a similar nature, say, as to the structural modifi- 
cations of the cliff-dweller and round-town architecture which their 
arrival at and ultimate position in these towns might lead us to expect 
to find, and which in fact is to be abundantly traced in later Zuiii ruins, 
like those of the historic Seven Cities of Cibola. 


The conditions of life and peculiarities of building, etc., in the caves 
and cliffs, then in the round towns, have been commented on at some 
length in previous pages, and sufficiently described to render intelligi- 
ble a presentation of this linguistic and additional evidence in regard 
to derivation from that direction; but it remains for me to sketch, as 
well as I can in brief, the more significant of such characteristics of 
the primitive Yuman house and village life as seem to bear on the 
additional linguistic and other evidence of derivation also from the 
opposite or Eio Colorado direction, for both clews should be presented 
side by side, if only for the sake of contrast. 

These ancient people of the Colorado region, Yuman or other, had, 
as their remains show (not in their earliest period, nor yet in a later 
stage of their development, when a diverging branch of them — "Our 
lost others"^ — had attained to a high state of culture in southern 
Arizona and northern Mexico, but at the time of their migration in 
part Zuniward), houses of quite a different type from those of the 
north. They were mainly rancherias, that is, more or less scat- 
tered over the mesas and plains. They were but rarely round, com- 
monly parallelogrammic, and either single or connected in straight 
L -shape or double L -shape rows. The foundations were of rough 
stones, designed probably to hold more firmly in place the cane- 
wattled, mud-plastered stockades which formed the sides and ends as 
■well as (in the house rows) the partitions. They owed their rectangular 
shapes not to crowding, but to development from an original log-built 
house type — in the open (like the rancheria house type of the Tara- 
hum4ri), to which may also be traced their generally greater length 
than width. They were single storied, with rather flat or slightly 
sloping roofs, although the high pitched roof of thatch was not wholly 
unknown, for it was still employed on elevated granaries ; but some- 
times (this was especially the case with single houses) the stockade 
posts were carried up above this roof on three sides, and overlaid with 
saplings on which, in turn, a bower of brush or cane or grass was con- 
structed to protect from the sun rather than from rain. Thus a sort of 
rude and partial second story was formed, which was reached from 
below by means of a notched step-log made of a forked or branching 
tree-trunk, the forks being placed against the edge of the roof proper 
to keep the log (the butt of which rested on the ground) from turning 
when being ascended.^ 

Of these single houses the "bowers" described in the followingmyth 
of the creation of corn (see page 391), and typically surviving still 
to a great extent in the cornfield or farm huts of modern Zuiii, may 
be taken as fair examples ; and of the villages or hut- row structures 
of these ancient plains and valley people, an excellent example may 

iSee pages 403, 405-406. 

=See Mindeletf, Architecture of Tusayan and Cibola, Eighth Ann. Eep. Bur. Eth- 
nology, p. 157. 

358 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. lErn. ann.13 

be found iu the long-houses of the Mohave and other Yumans of the 
valley of Colorado river. Both these hut-row houses and the single-room 
houses were generally surrounded by low walls of loose stone, stone 
and mud, stockade and mud, or of mud alone; and as often as not one 
side or the front of a hut within such a wall inclosure was left entirely 

Thus the outer wall was intended in part as a slight protection from 
the wind, and probably also to guard from flooding during the sudden 
showers which sometimes descend iu torrents over Arizona plains. 
They may also have been designed to some extent for protection from 
the enemy ; for these people were far more valiant fighters than their 
ultimate brethren of the north, and depended for protection less on 
security of position than on their own prowess. Only during times of 
unusual danger did they retire to fortified lava buttes (or, when near 
them, to deep but more or less open crevices in some of the more exten- 
sive lava fields), where their hut foundations may be found huddled 
together within huge inclosures of natural lava blocks, dry laid and 
irregular, but some of them skillfully planned and astonishingly vast; 
but iu these strongholds they never tarried long enough to be influ- 
enced in their building habits sufficieutly to change the styles of their 
hamlets in the plains, for until we reach the point iu eastern Arizona 
where they joined the " elder nations " no change in ground plan of these 
houses is to be traced in their remains. 

It is necessary to add a few details as to costume, usages, and the 
institutions of these semisettled yet ever shifting people. 

They wore but scant clothing besides their robes and blankets — 
breech-clouts and kilts, short for the men, long for the women, and 
made of shredded bark and rushes or fiber; sandals, also of fiber; neck- 
laces of shell beads, and pendent carved shell gorgets. The hair was 
bobbed to the level of the eyebrows in front, but left long and hanging 
at the back, gathered into a bunch or switch with a colored cord by 
the men, into which cord, or into a fillet of plaited fiber, gorgeous long 
tail feathers of the macaw, roadrunner, or eagle were thrust and worn 
upright. To the crown of the bead of the warriors was fastened a huge 
bunch of stripped or slitted feathers of the owl or eagle, called, no doubt, 
then as now by its Yuman name, musema; for it is still known, though 
used in different fashion, as the mumtsemalc'ya or miimpalo¥ye by 
the Zuiii Priests of the Bow. The warriors also carried 'targets or 
shields of yucca or cotton cord, closely netted across a strong, round 
hoop-frame and covered with a coarser and larger net, which was only 
a modification of the carrying net (like those still in use by the Papago, 
Pima, and other Indians of southern Arizona), and was turned to 
account as such, indeed, on hunting and war expeditions. 

Their hand weapons were huge stone knives and war clubs shaped 
like potato-mashers, which were called, it would seem, iitekati (their 


Yuman name) for, although changed in the Zufii of today, still strik- 
ingly survives in familiar speech as the expression itehJc'ya or ttehk'ydti, 
to knockdown finally or fatally, and in ceremonial allusion (rather than 
name) to the old-fashioned and sacred war clubs (which are of identical 
form) as iteh¥yatdwe, or knocking-down billets, otherwise called face- 
smashers or pulpers. 

They sometimes buried the dead — chiefly their medicine men and 
women, or shamans ; but all others were burned (with them personal 
effects and gifts of kin) and their ashes deposited in pots, etc., at 
the heads of arroyas, or thrown into streams. They held as fetiches 
of regenerative as well as protective power certain concretionary stones, 
some of the larger of which were family heirlooms and kept as house- 
hold gods, others as tribal relics and amulets, like the canopas and 
huacas of ancient Peru. These nodules were so knobbed, corrugated, 
and contorted that they were described when seen elsewhere by the 
early Spanish writers as bezoars, but they were really derived from 
the sources of arroyas, or mountain torrents, in the beds of which they 
are sometimes found, and being thus always water- worn were regarded 
as the seed of the waters, the source of life itself. Hence they were 
ceremoniously worshiped and associated with all or nearly all the 
native dances or dramaturgies, of which dances they were doubtless 
called by their old time possessors "the ancients," or " stone ancients," 
a name and in some measure a connection still surviving and extended 
to other meanings with reference to similar fetich stones among the 
Zunis of today. 

From a study of the remains of these primitive Arizonian ancestors 
of the Zuiiis in the light of present-day Zuiii archaisms, and especially of 
the creation myths themselves, it would be possible to present a much 
fuller sketch of them. But that which has already been outlined is suffi- 
ciently full, I trust, to prove evidential that the following Zuiii expres- 
sions and characteristics were as often derived from this southwest- 
ern branch as from the cliff dweller or aboriginal branch of the Zuni 
ancestry : 

The Zufii name of an outer village wall is hS¥yapane, which signi- 
fies, it would seem, "cliff-face wall;" for it is derived, apparently, from 
Mane, an extended wall ; and dTc'yapane, the face of a wide cliff. Thus 
it is probably developed from the name which at first was descriptive 
of the encircling rear wall of a cave village, afterward naturally contin- 
ued to be applied to the rear but encircling or outside wall of a round 
town, and hence now designates even a straight outer wall of a village, 
whether of the front or the rear of the houses. 

The name for the outer wall of a house, however, is heme, or heline, 
which signifies a mud or adobe inclosure; from heliwe, mud (or mud- 
and-ash) mortar, and uline, an inclosure. Since in usage this refers 
to the outer wall of a house or other simple structure, but not to that 
of a town or assemblage of houses, its origin may with equal propriety 

360 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

be attributed to the mud-plastered corral or adobe sides or iuclosures 
of such rancherias as I bave already described.' 

Again, tbe names in Zufii, first, for a room of a single-story structure, 
and, second, for an inner room on the ground floor of such or of a 
terraced structure, are (1) teUtona, "room or space equally inclosed," 
that is, by four equal or nearly equal walls; and (2) teluUne, "room 
or space within (other rooms or) an inclosure. Both of these terms, 
although descriptive, may, from their specific use, be attributed to 
single-story rancheria origin, I think, for in the cliff villages there was 
no ground-floor room. The name for a lowermost room in the cliff 
villages still seemingly survives in the Zuui name for a cellar, which 
is dpaline, from a, rock, and pdloiye, buried in or excavated within ; 
while the cliff name for au upper room or top-story room, dshtenu- 
'■hlane, from oshten, a cave-shelter or cave roof, and u^hlane, inclosed 
by, or built within the hollow or embrace of, also ptill survives. Yet 

■In my "Study of Pueblo Pottery," etc. (Fourtli Annual Report of tlie Bureau 
of Ethnology, 1882-83), I have said that "The archaic name for a building or 
walled structure is lUshota, a contraction of the now obsolete term Tiiahotapone ; 
from Msho, gum, or resiu-like; shdtaie, leaned or placed together convergingly ; 
tdpoane, a roof (covering) of wood, or a roof (covering) supported by wood." 

I ri'gret to say that the etymology of this word as thus rendered was not quite cor- 
rect, and therefore its meaning as interpreted in the passage which immediately fol- 
lowed was also mistaken. It is quite true that li^sho signifies gum or resin, etc. 
(referring, as I then supposed, to dlieaho, or gum rock, a name for lava; used con- 
structively in the oldest round huts of the basaltic regions) ; but the root lie enters 
into many other compounds, such as not only wax, gum, pitch, metal (as being rock- 
pitch, that is, melted from rocks), etc., but also mud, clay-paste, mud-mortar, and 
finally adobe, as being dried mud mortar; hence walls made either with or of adobe, 
etc. Had I been, at the time of this first writing, as familiar with the language as I 
now am I should not have connected as a single root lie and sho, making lihho (gum 
or pitch) of it. For, as elsewhere stated in t^e same essay, ahdwe signifies canes, 
{8h6ole, a cane or reed), and it now appears that the syllable thus derived formed a 
root by itself. But I had not then learned that the greater number of the ruins of 
southern Arizona, especially of the plains, consisted of gabion-like walls, that is, 
of walls made by packing stiff earth or rubble mortar or cement between double or 
parallel cane- wattled stockades, and then heavily plastering this exterior or casing 
(as was the case in the main walls of the celebrated Casa Grande and the temple 
mound of Los Muertos); or else, in less massive ruins of lesser walls the cores or 
supports of which consisted of close-set posts lathed with reeds or canes, the mud or 
cement being built up either side of these cores, or, in case of the thinnest walls, 
such as partitions, merely plastered to either face. 

I can not doubt that even the grandest and moat highly developed of these ruins — 
the Casas Grandes themselves, which look today as if constructed wholly of massive 
masonry— no less than the simplest plastered stockade walls, were developed from 
such beginnings as the mere mud-plastered cane and stockade screens of the ancient 
rancheria builders. Thus, I am constrained to render the primary meaning of 
heshotapoane as approximately " mud-plastered cane and stick structure ;" from heKwe, 
mud mortar; sliSice, canes or reeds; <moe, wood, or idtooe, wood-posts ; poa, to place 
(leaniugly or closely) over against ; and ne, (any) thing made. From this, the generic 
term he'ahota, for walled structure (especially ruined wall-structures), would very 
naturally have been derived, and this might or might not have given rise to the use of 
the prefix he, as occurring in all names for mortar-laid walls. 


other examj)les o£ diversely derived house-uames in this composite 
phraseology might be added, but one more must suffice. The Zuui 
name for a ladder is '•hUtsilone, apparently from '■hUwe, slats {'■hldma, 
slat), and tsilulona, hair, fiber, or osier, entwined or twisted in. This 
primary meaning of the name would indicate that before the ladder of 
poles and slats was used, rope ladders were commonly in vogue, and if 
so, would point unmistakably to the cliffs as the place of its origin; for 
many of the clifi' dwellings can not now be reached save by means of 
ropes or rope ladders. Yet, although the name for a stairway (or steps 
even of stone or adobe) might naturally, one would suppose, have been 
derived from that of a ladder (if ladders were used before stairs, or 
vice versa if the reverse was the case), nevertheless it has a totally 
independent etymology, for it is iyechiwe, from ihnydchi, forked log or 
crotch-log, and yShchiwe, walking or footing- notched; that is, notched 
step-log or crotch. And this it would seem points as unmistakably 
to such use of forked and notched step logs or crotch-logs as I have 
attributed to the tancheria builders, as does the "rope- and- slat" ladder- 
name to the use of the very different climbing device I have attributed 
to the cliff dwellers. 

It is probable that when the round-town builders had peopled the trail 
of salt as far from the northward as to the region of Zuni and beyond, 
the absence of very deep canyons, containing rock- sheltered nooks suffi- 
ciently large and numerous to enable them to find adequate accommo- 
dation for cliff villages, gradually led them to abandon all resort to the 
cliffs for protection — made them at last no longer cliff dwellers, even 
temporarily, but true Pueblos, or town dwellers of the valleys and plains. 

But other influences than those of merely natural or physical envi- 
ronment were required to change their mode of building, and corre- 
spondingly, to some extent, their institutions and modes of life from 
those of round-town builders to those of square-town builders, such as 
in greater part they were at the time of the Spanish discoveries. In 
the myths themselves may be found a clew as to what these influences 
were in that which is told of the coming togetlier of the " People of 
the Midmost" and these "Dwellers-in-the-towns-builded-round." For 
there is evidence in abundance also of other kind, and not a little of it 
of striking force and interest, that this coming together was itself the 
chief cause of the changes referred to. It has been seen that the west- 
ern branch of the ZuQi ancestry (who were these " People of the Mid- 
most") were almost from the beginning dwellers in square structures; 
that their village clusters, even when several of their dwelling places 
happened to be built together, were, as shown by their remains wherever 
found, built precisely on the plans of single-house structures — that is, 
they were simple extensions, mostly rectilinear, of these single houses 

'Now peoples like those of the round towns, no less than primitive 
peoples generally, conceive of everything made, whether structure, 

362 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

utensil, or weapon, as animistic, as living. They conceive of this life of 
things as they do of the lives of plants, of hibernating animals, or of 
sleeping men, as a still sort of life generally, but as potent and aware, 
nevertheless, and as capable of functioning, not oniy obdurately and 
resistingly but also actively and powerfully in occult ways, either for 
good or for evil. As every living thing they observe, every animal, 
has form, and acts or functions according to its form — the feathered 
and winged bird flying, because of its feathered form; the furry and 
four-footed animal running and leaping, because of its four-footed form, 
and the scaly and finny fish swimming, because also of its fins and 
scales and form appropriate thereto — so these things made or born into 
special forms of the hands of man also have life and function variously, 
according to their various forms. 

As this idea of animals, and of things as in other sort animals, is 
carried out to the minutest particular, so that even the differences in 
the claws of beasts, for example, are supposed to make the difference 
between their powers of foot (as between the hugging of the bear and 
the clutching of the jjanther), it follows that form in all its details is 
considered of the utmost importance to special kinds of articles made 
and used, even of structures of any much used or permanent tyjie. 
Another phase of this curious but perfectly natural attributive of life and 
form-personality to material things, is the belief that the forms of these 
things not only give them power, but also restrict their power, so that 
if properly made, that is, made and shaped strictly as other things of 
their kind have been made and shaped, they will perform only such 
safe uses as their prototypes have been found to serve in performing 
before them. As the fish, with scales and fins only, can not fly as the 
duck does, and as the duck can not swim under the water except so 
far as his feathers, somewhat resembling scales, and his scaly, webbed 
feet, somewhat resembling fins enable him to do so, thus also is it with 
things. In this way may be explained better than in any other way, 
I think, the excessive persistency of form- survival, including the survi- 
val of details in conventional ornamentation in the art products of primi- 
tive peoples — the repetitions, for instance, in pottery, of the forms and 
even the ornaments of the vessels, basketry, or what not, which pre- 
ceded it in development and use and on which it was first modeled. 
This tendency to persist in the making of well-tried forms, whether of 
utensil or domicile, is so great that some other than the reason usually 
assigned, namely, that of mere accustomeduess, is necessary to account 
for it, and the reason I have given is fully warranted by what I know 
of the mood in which the Zunis still regard the things they make and 
use, and which is so clearly manifest in their names of such things. It 
is a tendency so great, indeed, that neither change of environment and 
other conditions, nor yet substitution of unused materials for those in 
customary use for the making of things, will effect change in their forms 
at once, even though in preserving older forms in this newer sort of mate- 


rial the j;reatest amount of iuconvenieuce be encoiiutered. There is, 
indeed, but oue itifluence poteut enough to efi'ect change from one estab- 
lished form to another, and that is acculturation ; and even this works 
but slowly and only after long and familiar intercourse or after actual 
commingling of one people with a diversely developed people has 
taught them the safety and efficiency of unfamiliar forms in uses fa- 
miliarly associated with their own accustomed but different forms. 
Sooner or later such acculturation invariably effects radical change in 
the forms of things used by one or the other of the peoples thus com- 
mingling, or by both ; though in the latter case the change is usually 
unequal. In the case here under consideration there is to be found 
throughout the nearer Zufii country ruins of the actual transitional type 
of pueblo thus formed by the union of the two ancestral branches of 
the Zuiiis, the round town with* its clifi'-like outer wall merging into 
the square, terraced town with its broken and angular or straight outer 
walls; and in these composite towns earliest appears, too, the house wall 
built into (not merely against) the outer Avails of the curved portions 
no less than into the outer walls of the squared or straight portions. 

The composite round and square pueblo ruin is not, however, con- 
fined to this transitional type or to its comparatively restricted area 
wherever occurring, but is found here and there as far northward, for 
instance, as the neighborhood of older cliff ruins. But in such cases it 
seems to have been developed, as heretofore hinted, in the compara- 
tively recent rebuilding of old rounded towns by square-house builders. 
Quite in correspondence with all this is the history of the development, 
from the round form into the square, of the kivas of the later ZuHi 
towns; that is, like the towns themselves, the round kivas of the earlier 
• round towns became, first in part and then nearly squared in the com- 
posite round and square towns, and finally altogether squared in the 
squaie towns. This was brought about by a twofold cause. When the 
cliff dwellers became inhabitants of the plains, not only their towns, 
but also the kivas were enlarged. To such an extent, indeed, were the 
latter enlarged that it became dif&cult to roof them over in the old fash- 
ion of completing the upper courses of the walls Avith cross-laid logs, and 
of roofing the narrowed apex of this coping with combined rafter and 
stick structures ; hence in many cases, althougli the round kiva was 
rigidly adhered to, it was not unfrequently inclosed within a square wall 
in order that, as had come to be the case in the ordinary living rooms, 
rafters parallel to oue another and of equal length might be thrown 
across the top, thus making a flat roof essentially like the flat terrace 
roofs of the ordinary house structure. 

It is not improbable that the first suggestion of inclosing the round 
kiva in a square- walled structure and of covering the latter with a 'flat 
roof arose quite naturally long before the clift' dwellers descended into 
the plains. It has been seen that frequently, in the larger and longest 
occupied cliff-towns, the straight- walled houses grew outward whoUy 

364 ■ ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth. ann. 13 

arouud the kivas; aud when this occurred the round kiva was thus 
not only surrounded by a square inclosure — formed by the walls of the 
nearest houses, — but also it became necessary to cover this inclosing 
space with a flat roof, in order to render continuous the house terrace 
in which it was constructed. Still, the practice never became general 
or intentional in the earlier cliflf- towns; probably, indeed, it became so 
in the now ruined round towns only by slow degrees. Yet it needed 
after this (in a measure) makeshift beginning only such influence of 
continued intercourse between the square-house building people and 
these round-town building people to lead linally to the practical aban- 
donment by the latter of the inner round structure surviving from their 
old-fashioned kivas, and to make them, like the modern Zuni kiva, 
square rather than round. 

An evidence that this was virtually the history of the change from 
the round kiva building to the square, kiva building, and that this 
change was wrought thus gradually as though by long- continued inter- 
course, is found in the fact that to this day all the ceremonials per- 
formed in the great square kivas of Zuni would be more appropriate in 
round structures. For example, processions of the performers in the 
midwinter night ceremonials in these kivas, on descending the ladders, 
proceed to their places around the sides of the kivas in circles, as 
though following a circular wall. The ceremonials of concerted invo- 
cation in the cult societies when they meet in these kivas are also per- 
formed in circles, and the singers for dances or other dramaturgic per- 
formances, although arranged in one end or in the corner of the kiva, 
continue to form themselves in perfect circles; the drum in the middle, 
the singers sitting around and facing it as though gathered within a 
smaller circular room inclosed in the square room. Thus it may be 
inferred, first, from the fact that in the structural details of the scuttles 
or hatchways by which these modern kivas are entered the cross- 
logged structure of the inner roof of the earliest cliff kivas survive, and 
from the additional fact above stated that the ceremonials of these 
kivas are circular in form, that the square kiva is a lineal descendant of 
the round one; and second, that even after the round kiva was inclosed 
in the square room, so to say, in order that its roof might be made as 
were the roofs of the women's houses, or continuous therewith, it lojig 
retained the round kiva within, and hence the ceremonials necessarily 
performed circularly within this round inner structure became so asso- 
ciated with the outer structure as well, that after the abandonment 
entirely, through the influences I have above suggested, of these round 
inner structures, they continued thus to be performed. 

As farther evidence of the continuity of this development from the 
earliest to the latest forms, certain painted marks on the walls of the 
cliff kivas tell not only of their derivation in turn from a yet earlier 
form, but also and again of the derivation from them of the latest forms. 
In the ancient ruins of the scattered round houses, which, it is pre- 


sumecl, mark the sites of buildings belonging to the earlier cliff ancestry- 
folk on the northern desert borders, there are discovered the remains 
of certain unusually large huts, the walls of which aj^pear to have been 
strengthened at four equidistant points by firmly planted upright logs. 
It is probable that, alike in this distribution and in the number of these 
logs, they corresponded almost strictly to the poles of, first, the medicine 
tent, and, second, the medicine earth lodge. When, in a later period of 
their development, these builders of the round huts in the north came 
to be, as has heretofore been described, dwellers in the kivas of the 
caves, their larger, presumably ceremonial structures, whUe reared with- 
out the strengthening posts referred to, nevertheless contained, as 
appropriate parts, the marks of them on the walls corresponding there- 
to. At any rate, in the still later kivas of the cliffs three parallel marks, 
extending from the tops of the walls to the floors, are found painted on 
the four sides of the kivas. Finally, in the modern square kiva of 
Zuni there are still placed, ceremonially, once every fourth year, on 
the four sides of the lintels or hatchways, three parallel marks, and 
these marks are called by the Zuiii in their rituals the holders-up of the 
doorways and roofs. Many additional points in connection not only 
with the structural details of, but also in the ceremonials performed 
within, these modern kivas, may be found, survivals all pointing, as do 
those above mentioned, to the unbroken development of the kiva, from 
the earth medicine lodge to the finished square structure of the modern 
Zufii and Tusayan Indians. 

It likewise has been seen that through very natural causes a strict 
division between the dwellings of the women and children and of the 
adult male x)opulatiou of the cliff villages grew up. Prom the relatively 
great numbers of the kivas found in the courts of the round towns, it 
may be inferred that this division was still kept up after the cliff 
dwellers became inhabitants of the plains and builders of such round 
towns; for when first the Spaniards encountered the ZuELi dwellers 
in the Seven Cities of Cibola they found that, at least ceremonially, 
this division of the men's quarters from those of the women was still 
persisted in, but there is evidence that even thus early it was not so 
strictly held to on other occasions. Then, as now, the men became per- 
nianent guests, at least, in the houses of their wives, and it is prob- 
able that the cause which broke down this previous strict division of 
the sexes was the union of the western or rancheria building branch of 
the Zuiii ancestry with the cliff and round- town budding branch. 

In nothing is the dual origin of the Zunis so strongly suggested as in 
the twofold nature of their burial customs at the time when first they 
were encountered by the Spaniards; for according to some of the early 
writers they cremated the dead with all of their belongings, yet accord- 
ing to others they buried them in the courts, houses, or near the walls 
of their villages. It has already been stated that the cliff dwellers 
buried their dead in the houses and to the rear of their cavern villages, 


and that, following them iu this, the dwellers in the round towns 
burled their dead also in the houses and to the rear — that is, j ast out- 
side of their villages. It remains to be stated that nearly all of tbe 
Yuman tribes, and some even of the Piman tribes, of the lower Colorado 
region disposed of their dead chiefly by cremation. Investigation of the 
square house remains which lie scattered over the southwestern and 
central poriions of Arizona would seem to indicate that the western 
branch of the Zufii ancestry continued this practice of cremating the 
greater number of their dead. If this be true, the custom on the one 
hand of cremating the dead, which was observed by Castaneda at 
M^tsaki, one of the principal of the Seven Cities of Cibola, and the 
practice of burying the dead observed by others of the earliest Spanish 
explorers, are easily accounted for as being survivals of the differing 
customs of the two peoples composing the Zuni tribe at that time. As 
has been mentioned in the first part of this introductory, both of these 
very different customs continued ceremonially to be performed, even 
after disposal of the dead solely bj^ burial under the influence of the 
Franciscan fathers came to be an established custom. 

In the Ka'ka, or the mythic drama dance organization of the Zunis, 
there is equal evidence of dual origin, for while in the main the ha'ha 
of the Zuiiis corresponds to the Icatzina of the Eio Grande Pueblo tribes 
and to the Tcachina of the Tusayan Indians, yet it possesses certain dis- 
tinct and apparently extraneous features. The most notable of these 
is found in that curious organization of priest-clowns, the Ka'yimashi, 
the myth of the origin of which is so fully given in the following out- 
lines (see page 401). . It will be seen that in this myth these Ka'yimashi 
are described as having heads covered with welts or knobs, that they are 
referred to not only as "husbands of the sacred dance" or the "Zca'fca" 
(from Icd'M and yemashi, as in dyemasM, husband or married to) and as 
the Old Ones or A^lilushiwe. 

Throughout the Eio Colorado, region, and associated with all the 
remaining ruins of the ranoheria builders in central and even eastern 
Arizona as well, are found certain concretions or other nodular and 
usually very' rough stones, which today, among some of the Yuman 
tribes, are used as fetiches connected both with water worship and 
household worship. Among the sacred objects said to have been 
brought by the Zuiii ancestry from the places of creation are a number 
of such fetich- stones, and in all the ruins of the later Zuni towns such 
fetich-stones are also found, especially before rude altars in the plazas 
and around ancient, lonely shrines on the mesas and in the mountains. 
These fetich-stones are today referred to as d%lashhce, or stone an- 
cients, from a, a stone, 'Ud'shi, aged one, and we, a plural suflBx. The 
resemblance of this name to the A'hldsUwe as a name of the Ka'ye- 
mashi strongly suggests that the nodular shape and knobbed mask- 
heads of these priest-clowns are but dramatic personifications of these 
"stone ancients," and if one examine such stones, especially when used 


ill connection with the worship and invocation of torrents, freshets, and 
swift-running streams (wlien, like the masks in question, they are 
covered with clay), the resemblance between the fetich-stones and the 
masks is so striking that one is inclined to believe that both the 
characters and their names were derived from this single source. 
From the fact that this peculiar institution of the down-priest organi- 
zation, associated with or, as the Zunis say, literally married to the 
Cachina, or Ka'ka proper, was at one time peculiarly Zuni, as is averred 
by themselves and avowed by all the other Pueblos, it would seem that it 
was distinctively an institution of the western branch of their ancestry, 
since also, as the myths declare, these Old Ones were born on the sacred 
mountains of the Ka'ka, oa the banks of the Colorado Chiquito in Ari- 
zona. Finally, this is typical of many, if not all, features which distin- 
guish the Zuni Ka'ka from the corresponding organizations of other 
Pueblo tribes; 


' A complete outline of the mytho-sociologic organization of the Zuni 
tribe can not in this connection be undertaken. A sufficient character! 
zation of this probably not unique combination of the sociologic and 
mythologio institutions of a tribe should, however, be given to make 
plain certain allusions in the following outlines which it is feared would 
otherwise be incomprehensible. 

The Zufd of today number scarcely 1,700 and, as is well known, they 
inhabit only a single large pueblo — single in more senses than one, 
for it is not a village of separate houses, but a village of six or seven sepa- 
rate parts in which the houses are mere apartments or divisions, so to 
say. This pueblo, however, is divided, not always clearly to the eye, but 
very clearly in the estimation of the people themselves, into seven parts, 
corresponding, not perhaps in arrangement topographically, but in 
sequence, to' their subdivisioas of the " worlds " or world-quarters of 
this worlds Thus, one division of the town is- supposed to be related 
to the north and'to be centered in its kiva or estufa, which mayor may 
not be, 'however, in its center ; another divis-ion represents the west, 
Another the south, another the east, yet another the upper world and 
another the lower world', while a final diviMOn represents the middle or 
mother and syntHftic combination of them all in this world. 

By reference to the early Spanish history of the pueblo it may be 
seen that when discovered, the Ashiwi orZuiiis were living in seven 
quite widely separated towns, the celebrated Seven Cities of Cibola, 
and that thisi theoretic subdivision of the only one of these towns 
now remaining' is in some measure a survival of the original subdivision 
of the tribe into seven subtribes inhabiting as many separate towns. 
It is evident that in both cases, however, the arrangement was, and is, 
if we may call it such, a mythic organization ; hence my use of the term 
the mytho-sociologic organization of the tribe. At any rate, this is 

368 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [bth.ann.13 

the key to their sociology as well as to their mythic conceptions of 
space and the universe. In common with all other Indian tribes of 
North America thus far studied, the Zunis are divided into clans, or 
artificial kinship groups, with inheritance in the female line. Of these 
clans there are, or until recently there were, nineteen, and these in turn, 
with the exception of one, are grouped in threes to correspond to the 
mythic subdivision I have above alluded to. These clans are also, as are 
those of all other Indians, totemic; that is, they bear the names and 
are supposed to have intimate relationship with various animals, plants, 
and objects or elements. Named by their totems they are as follows : 

Ka'lokta-kwe, Crane or PeUcan people; Poyi-kwe (nearly extinct). 
Grouse or Sagecock people; T4'hluptsi-kwe (nearly extinct). Yellow- 
wood or Evergreen-oak people; Aiii'shi-kwe, Bear people j Stiski-kwe, 
Ooyote people; Aiyaho-kwe, Eed-top plant or Spring-herb people; Ana- 
kwe. Tobacco people; Ta'a-kwe, Maize-plant people; Tonashi-kwe, 
Badger people ; Shohoita-kwe, Deer people ; M^awi-kwe (extinct), Ante- 
lope people; Tona-kwe, Turkey people; Ya'tok'ya-kwe, Sun people; 
Apoya-kwe (extinct), Sky people; K'ya'k'yali-kwe, Eagle people; 
T4k'ya-kwe, Toad or Frog people; K'y4na-kwe (extinct). Water people; 
Chitola-kwe (nearly extinct), Eattlesnake people; Piohi-kwe, Parrot- 
Macaw people. 

Of these clans the first group of three appertains to the north, the 
second to the west, the third to the south, the fourth to the east, the 
fifth to the upper or zenith, and the sixth to the lower or nadir region; 
while the single clan of the Macaw is characterized as "midmost," or of 
the middle, and also as the all-containing or mother clan of the entire 
tribe, for in it the seed of the priesthood of the houses is supposed to 
be preserved. The Zufii explanation of this very remarkable, yet when 
understood and comprehended, very simple and natural grouping of the 
clans or totems is exceedingly interesting, and also significant whether 
it throw light on the origin, or at least native meaning, of totemic sys- 
tems in general, as would at first seem to be the case, or whether, as is 
more probably the case in this instance, it indicates a native classifica- 
tion, so to say, or reclassification of clans which existed before the cul- 
ture had been elaborated to its present point. Briefly, the clans of the 
north— that is, those of the Crane, the Grouse, and Evergreen-oak — 
are grouped together and are held to be related to the north because of 
their peculiar fitness for the region whence comes the cold and wherein 
the season of winter itself is supposed to be created, for the crane each 
autumn appears in the van of winter, the grouse does not flee from the 
approach of winter but puts on his coat of white and traverses the 
forests of the snow-clad mountains as freely as other birds traverse 
summer fields and woodlands, caring not for the cold, and the ever- 
green oak grows as green and is as sturdy in winter as other trees are 
in spring or summer; hence these are totems and in a sense god-beings 
of the north and of winter, and the clanspeople named after them and 


considered as, mythically at least, their breath- children, are theretore 
grouped together and related to the north and winter as are their 
totems. And as the bear, whose coat is grizzly like the evening twilight 
or black like the darkness of night, and the gray coyote, who prowls 
amidst the sagebrush at evening and goes forth and cries in the night- 
time, and the spring herb or the red-toi> plant, which blooms earliest 
of all flowers in spring when first the moisture-laden winds from the 
west begin to blow — these and the people named after them are as 
appropriately grouped in the west. The badger, who digs his hole on 
the sunny sides of hills and in winter appears only when the sun shines 
warm a,bove them, who excavates among the roots of the juniper and 
the cedar from which fire is kindled with the fire drill ; the wild tobacco, 
which grows only where fires have burned, and the corn which anciently 
came from the south and is still supposed to get its birth from the 
southland, and its warmth — these are grouped in the south. The tur- 
key, which wakes with the dawn and helps to awaken the dawn by his 
cries; the antelope and the deer, who traverse far mesas and valleys in 
the twilight of the dawn — these and their children are therefore grouped 
in the east. And it is not difflcult to understand why the sun, the sky 
(or turkis), and the eagle appertain to the upper world; nor why ihe 
toad, the water, and the rattlesnake appertain to the lower world. 

By this arrangement of the world into great quarters, or rather as 
the Zunis conceive it, into several worlds corresponding to the four 
quarters and the zenith and the nadir, and by this grouping of the 
towns, or later of the wards (so to call them) in the town, according to 
such mythical division of the world, and finally the grouping of the 
totems in turn within the divisions thus made, not only the ceremonial 
life of the people, but all their governmental arrangements as well, are 
completely systemized. Something akin to written statutes results 
from this and similar related arrangements, for each region is given its 
appropriate color and number, according to its relation to one of the 
regions I have named or to others of those regions. Thus the north is 
designated as yellow with the Zunis, because the light at morning and 
evening in winter time is yellow, as also is the auroral light. The west 
is known as the blue world, not only because of the blue or gray twi- 
light at evening, but also because westward from Zuuiland lies the 
blue Pacific. The south is designated as red, it being the region of 
summer and of fire, which is red; and for an obvious reason the east 
is designated white (like dawn light); while the upper region is many- 
colored, like the sunlight on the clouds, and the lower region black, 
like the caves and deep springs of the world. Finally, the midmost, 
so often mentioned in the following outline, is colored of all these 
colors, because, being representative of this (which is the central world 
and of which in turn Zuni is the very middle or navel), It contains all 
the other quarters or regions, or is at least divisible into them. 
Again, each region — at least each of the four cardinal regions, namely, 
13 ETH 24 

370 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. Ieth.ann.13 

north, west, south, aud east — is the home or center of a special element, 
as well as of one of the four seasons each element produces. • Thus the 
north is the place of wind, breath, or air, the west of water, the south 
of fire, and the east of earth or the seeds of earth; correspondingly, 
the north is of course the place of winter or its origin, the west of 
spring, the south of summer, and the east of autumn. This is all 
because from the north and in winter blow the fiercest, the greatest 
winds or breaths, as these people esteem them; from the west early in 
spring come the moistened breaths of the waters in early rains; from 
the south comes the greatest heat that with dryness is followed by 
summer, and from the east blow the winds that bring the frosts that 
in turn mature the seeds and perfect the year in autumn. By means 
of this arrangement no ceremonial is ever performed and no council 
ever held in which there is the least doubt as to the position which a 
member of a given clan shall occupy in it, for according to the season 
in which the ceremonial is held, or according to the reason for which 
a council is convened, one or another of the clan groups of one or 
another of the regions will take precedence for the time; the natural 
sequence being, however, first the north, second the west, third the 
south, fourth the east, fifth the upper, and sixth the lower; but first, 
as well as last, the middle. But this, to the Zuiii, normal sequence of 
the regions and clan groups, etc., has been determined by the apparent 
sequence of the phenomena of the seasons, and of their relations to one 
another; for the masterful, all conquering element, the first necessity of 
life itself, and to all activity, is the wind, the breath, and its cold, the 
latter overmastering, in winter all the other elements as well as all 
other existences save those especially adapted to it or potent in it, like 
those of the totems and gods and their children of the north. But in 
spring, when with the first appearance of the bear aud the first sup- 
posed growls of his spirit masters in the thunders aud winds of that 
time their breaths begin to bring water from the ocean world, then the 
strength of the winter is broken, and the snows thereby melted away, 
and the earth is revivified with drink, in order that with the warmth of 
summer from the south things may grow and be cherished toward their 
old age or maturity and perfection, and finally toward their death or 
sleeping in winter by the frost-laden breaths of autumn and the east. 
Believing, as the Zuuis do, in this arrangement of the universe and 
this distribution of the elements and beings chiefly concerned in them, 
and finally in the relationship of their clans and the members thereof 
to these elementary beings, it is but natural that they should have 
societies or secret orders or cult institutions composed of the elders or 
leading members of each group of their clans as above classified. 
The seriation of these secret and occult medicine societies, or, better, 
perhaps, societies of magic, is one of the greatest consequence and 
interest. Tet it can but be touched upon here. In strict accordance 
with succession of the four seasons and their elements, aud with their 


supposed relationship to these, are classified the four fundamental activi- 
ties of primitive life, namely, as relating to the north and its masterful- 
ness and destructiveness in cold, is war and destruction ; relating to the 
west is war cure and hunting; to the south, husbandry and medicine; to 
the east, magic and religion ; while the above, the below, and the middle 
relate in one way or another to all these divisions. As a consequence 
the societies of cold or winter are found to be grouped, not rigidly, but 
at least theoretically, in the northern clans, and they are, respectively : 
'H16we-kwe, Ice-wand people or band; Achia-kwe, Knife people or 
band; K^'shi-kwe, Cactas people or band; for the west: Pi'hla-kwe, 
Priesthood of the Bow or Bow people or band (Api'hlan Shiwani, 
Priests of the Bow); S^niyak'ya-kwe, Priesthood of the Hunt or 
Coyote people or band; for the south: Md,ke'hl4na-kwe, Great fire 
(ember) people or band; MSketsdna-kwe, Little fire (ember) people 
or band; of the east: Shiwana-kwe, Priests of the Priesthood people 
or band; tjhuhu-kwe, Gottonwood-down people or band; Shumekwe, 
or Ka'ka'hldna-kwe, Bird-monster people or band, otherwise known as 
the Great Dance-drama people or band; for the upper region: N^we- 
kwe. Galaxy people or band or the All-consumer or Scavenger people or 
band (or life preservers) ; and for the lower regions : Ohitola-kwe, Rat- 
tlesnake people or band, generators (or life makers). Finally, as pro- 
duced from all the clans and as representative alike of all the clans 
and through a tribal septuarchy of all the regions and divisions in the 
midmost, and finally as representative of all the cult societies above 
mentioned is the Ka'kS. or Akaka-kwe or Mythic Dance drama people 
or organization. It may be seen of these mytho-sociologic organiza- 
tions that they are a system within a system, and that it contains also 
systems within systems, all founded on . this classification accordiug 
to the sixfold division of things, and in turn the six-fold division 
of each of these divisions of things. To such an extent, indeed, is 
carried this tendency to classify according to the number of the six 
regions with its seventh synthesis of them all (the latter sometimes 
apparent, sometimes nonappearing) that not only are the subdivi- 
sions of the societies also again subdivided according to this arrange- 
ment, but each clan is subdivided both according to such a six-fold 
arrangement and according to the subsidiary relations of the six parts 
of its totem. The tribal division made up of the clans of the north 
takes precedence ceremonially, occupying the position of elder brother 
or the oldest ancestor, as the case might be. The west is the younger 
brother of this; and in turn, the south of the west, the east of the 
south, the upper of the east, the under of them all, while the middle 
division is supposed to be a representative being, the heart or navel 
of all the brothers of the regions first and last, as well as elder and 
younger. In each clan is to be found a set of names called the names 
of childhood. These names are more of titles than of cognomens. 
They are determined upon by sociologic and divinistic modes, and are 

372 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.amn.13 

bestowed in childhood as the " verity names " or titles of the children to 
whom given. But this body of names relating to any one totem — for 
instance, to one of the beast totems — will not be the name of the totem 
beast itself, but will be names both of the totem in its various con- 
ditions and of various parts of the totem, or of its functions, or of its 
attributes, actual or mythical. Now these parts or functions, or attri- 
butes of the parts or functions, are subdivided also in a six-fold manner, 
so that the name relating to one member of the totem — for example, like 
the right arm or leg of the animal thereof — would correspond to the 
north, and would be the first in honor in a clan (not itself of the northern 
group); then the name relating to another member — say to the left leg 
or arm and its powers, etc. — would pertain to the west and would be sec- 
ond in honor ; and another member — say the right foot — to the south and 
would be third in honor; and of another member — say the left foot — 
to the east and woi^ld be fourth in honor; to another — say the head — 
to the upper regions and would be fifth in honor; and another — say the 
tail — to the lower region and would be sixth in honor; while the heart 
or the navel and center of the being would be first as well as last in 
honor. The studies of Major Powell among the Maskoki and other 
tribes have made it very clear that kinship terms, so called, among other 
Indian tribes (and the rule will apply no less or perhaps even more 
strictly to the Zunis) are rnther devices for determining relative rank or 
authority as signified by relative age, as elder or younger of the per- 
son addressed or spoken of by the term of relationship. So that it is 
quite impossible for a Zuiii speaking to another to say simply brother; 
it is always necessary to say elder brother or younger brother, by 
which the speaker himself afflrms his relative age or rank ; also it is 
customary for one clansman to address another clansman by the same 
kinship name of brother-elder or brother-younger, uncle or nephew, 
etc.; but according as the clan of the one addressed ranks higher or 
lower than the clan of the one using the term of address, the word- 
symbol for elder or younger relationship must be used. 

With such a system of arrangement as all this may be seen to be, with 
such a facile device for symbolizing the arrangement (not only according 
to number of the regions and their subdivisions in their relative succes- 
sion and the succession of their elements and seasons, but also in colors 
attributed to them, etc.), and, finally, with such an arrangement of names 
correspondingly classified and of terms of relationship significant of 
rank rather than of consanguinal connection, mistake in the order of 
a ceremonial, a procession or a council is simply impossible, and the 
people employing such devices may be said to have written and to be 
writing their statutes and laws in all their daily relationships and utter- 
ances. Finally, with much to add, I must be content with simply 
stating that the high degree of systemization which has been attained 
by the Zuiiis in thus grouping their clans severally and serially about 
a midmost group, we may see the influence of the coming together of 


two diverse peoples acting upon each other favorably to the develop- 
ment of both in the application of such conceptions to the conduct 
of tribal affairs. It would seem that the conception of the midmost, 
or that group within all these groups which seems to be made up of 
parts of them all, is inherent in such a system of world division and 
tribal subdivision corresponding thereto; but it may also well be that 
this conception of the middle was made more prominent with the Zunis 
than with any other of our southwestern peoples through the influ- 
ence of the earthquakes, which obviously caused their ancestors from 
the west again and again to change their places of abode, thus empha- 
sizing the notion of getting nearer to or upon the lap or navel of the 
earth mother, where all these terrific and destructive movements, it was 
thought, would naturally cease. 

Be this as it may, this notion of the " middle " and its relation to the 
rest has become the central fact indeed of Zuni organization. It has 
given rise to the septuarchy I have so often alluded to ; to the office of 
the mortally immortal K'yiik'lu, keeper of the rituals of creation, from 
which so much sanction for these fathers of the people is drawn ; to the 
consequent fixing in a series like a string of sacred epics, a sort of 
inchoate Bible, of these myths of creation and migration ; and finally, 
through all this accumulated influence, it has served to give solidarity 
to the Zuiii tribe at the time of its division into separate tribes, making 
the outlying pueblos they inhabited subsidiary to the central one, and 
in the native acceptation of the matter, mere parts of it. 


As the space originally apportioned to this merely preliminary essay 
on the Myths of Creation has already been greatly exceeded, the con- 
sideration even in outline of the cultural characteristics of the Zunis, 
which would do much to further illumine the meaning of the myths, 
must be left to the second paper of the series. This will constitute a 
key or appendix to the present paper, and will contain such glossaries 
and detailed explanations as will render, it is hoped, all obscure passages 
clear, and will at the same time give my authority for framing and 
translating the myths as I have. 

Chiefly, however, it will in turn introduce a third paper on the sacred 
dances or creation dramas of the Ka'ka, which originally the myths 
themselves (as the source of the songs, rituals, and forms of these 
dramas) were designed to introduce. Lastly, the whole series are but 
preliminary to a very extensive work on the subject which I contem- 
plate producing so soon as health and opportunity for further researches 
among the Zuiiis will permit. 

As inclusive of the dramaturgies or dances, and nearly all other 
ceremonials of the Zunis, this subject of their creation myths is almost 
inexhaustible. I, at least, can not hope to complete it, and I have 

374 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.auit.IS 

therefore chosen to treat it in its relation especially to their so- called 
dances, particularly to those of the Ka'ka. 

With other primitive peoples as with the Zunis, there seems to be 
no bent of their minds so strong or pervasive of and influential upon 
their lives as the dramaturgic tendency. That tendency to suppose that 
even the phenomena of nature can be controlled and mad e to act more 
or less by men, if symbolically they do first what they vrish the elements 
to do, according to the ways in which, as taught by their mystic lore, 
they suppose these things were done or made to be done by the ances- 
tral gods of creation time. Andthismaybeseenin a searching analysis 
not only of the incidents and symbolisms in folk- tales a s weU as myths 
of such primitive peoples, but also in a study of the moods in which 
they do the ordiuary things of life; as in believing that because a stone 
often struck wears away faster than when first struck it is therefore 
helpful in overcoming its obduracy to strike it — work it — by a prelimi- 
nary dramatic and ritualistic striking, whereupon it will work as though 
already actually worked over, and will be less liable to breakage, etc. 

All this and much more to the same effect will be illustrated in the 
papers which I have mentioned as designed to follow the present one. 

There remain still a few points in this preliminary paper which must 
be commented upon — points regarding my own hand in the work chiefly. 
I use very freely such terms as "religious," "sacred," "priest," and 
"god," not because they always express exactly the native meaning, 
but for the reason that they do so more approximately than any other 
terms I could select. The fearful and mysterious, the magical and 
occult, all these and many other elements are usually included in 
the primitive man's religion, and hence terms like " sacred" must be 
given a less restricted value than they have in our speech or culture. 

Again, while the Zuni word sMwani, "priest," literally signifies 
guardian and possessor, as well as maker or keeper of the flesh, or seed 
of life of the Zunis, it must not be supposed to represent a medicine- 
man, shaman, or sorcerer — for aU of which there are specific differenti- 
ated terms in the Zuiii tongue. Those who bear that title are also 
divided into four classes, but among all these the functions of possess- 
ing a shrine, being ritualists, performing before the altars, and leading 
as well as ordering all organized sacerdotal ceremonials, is common. 
Therefore the simple term "priest," in the Pagan rather than in the 
Christian sense, is the best and truest that can be found. 

Frequently I have occasion to reproduce portions of songs or rituals, 
or, again, words of the Uanami or "Beloved Gods." In the originals 
these are almost always in faultless blank verse meter, and are often 
even grandly poetic. I do not hesitate either to reproduce as nearly as 
possible their form, or to tax to the uttermost ray power of expression 
in rendering the meanings of them where I quote, clear and effective 
and in intelligible English. Tet in doing this T do not have to depart 
very far from "scientific" accuracy, even in the linguistic sense. 


Finally, I have entitled the originative division of this paper " Out- 
lines of Zuiii Creation Myths," because, in the first place, this is but a 
preliminary rendering of these, and, properly speaking, they are a series 
of explanation-myths. Now, while such myths are generally discon- 
nected, often, indeed, somewhat contradictory episode-legends with 
primitive peoples, they are, with the Zunis, already become serial, and it 
is in their serial or epic form (but merely in outline) that I here give 
them. Although each is called a talk, and is held specifically by a par- 
ticular organization or social division, yet all are called "the speech." 
This comes about in Zuni by the presence in the tribal organization, as 
already explained, of a class of men and priests there called the " Mid- 
most," or the "All," because hereditary in a single clan (the Macaw), yet 
representative sacerdotally of all the clans and all the priesthoods, which 
they out- rank as "Masters of the House of Houses." 

With them all these various myths are held in brief and repeated in 
set form and one sequence as are placed the beads of a rosary or on a 
string, each entire, yet all making a connected strand. Here, then, we 
see the rudiment or embryo of a sacred epic such as that of the Kya'klu 
or " Speaker of all times whensoever." 

As finally published, this paper will contain the most ample explana- 
tion of all these points and many others, and will not ask, as it does 
today, catholic judgment and charitable interpretation. 

The so-called dances of the Zutiis, and presumably those of all similar 
primitive peoples, are essentially religio-sociologic In character and 
always at least dramatic, or, more properly speaking, dramaturgic. It 
follows that to endeavor to describe and treat at all adequately of any 
one such ceremonial becomes a matter of exceeding difficulty, for it 
should involve a far more perfect scheme of the sociologic organization 
as well as at least a general survey of the mythology and religious 
institutions of the tribe to which it relates, such as I here present, as 
well as an absolutely searching description of all details in both the 
preparation for and the performance of such ceremonial. 

For example, the celebrated Ka'ka or mythic drama-dance organiza- 
tion of the Zunis, and for that matter all other of their ceremonials, 
are, any one of them, made up in personnel from specific clans. Thus 
formed, they are organized, and the actors and their parts divided in 
accordance with the groupings of these clans in relation to the symbolic 
regions of the world, or in this case literally septs. Finally, the para- 
phernalia and costumings, no less than the actions, songs, and rituals, 
are as distinctly founded on and related to the legend or legends 

At this point it seems desirable that the sense in which the terms 
"drama," "dramatic," and "dramaturgic" are employed in relation to 
these ceremonials be explained. This may best be done, perhaps, by 
contrasting the drama of primitive peoples, as I conceive it, with that 
of civilized peoples. While the latter is essentially spectacular, the 

376 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. leth.ann.13 

former has for its chief motive the absolute and faithful reproduction 
of creative episodes — one may almost say, iudeed, the revivification of 
the ancient. 

That this is attempted and is regarded as possible by primitive man 
is not to be wondered at when we consider his peculiar modes of con- 
ception. I have said of the Zunis that theirs is a science of appear- 
ances and a philosophy of analogies. The primitive man, no less than 
the child, is the most comprehensive of observers, because his looking 
at and into things is not self-conscious, but instinctive and undirected, 
therefore comprehensive and searching. Unacquainted as he is with 
rational explanations of the things he sees, he is given, as has been the 
race throughout all time, to symbolic interpretation and mystic expres- 
sion thereof, as even today are those who deal with the domain of the 
purely speculative. It follows that his organizations are symbolic; 
that his actions withiu these organizations are also symbolic. Con- 
sequently, as a child at play on the floor finds sticks all-sufficient for 
the personages of his play-drama, chairs for his houses, and lines of 
the floor for the rivers that none but his eyes can see, so does the 
primitive man regard the mute, but to him personified, appliances of 
his dance and the actions thereof, other than they seem to us. 

I can perhaps make my meaning more clear by analyzing such a con- 
ception common to the Zuni mind. The Zuni has observed that the 
corn plant is jointed ; that its leaves spring from these joints not regu- 
larly, but spirally; that stripped of the leaves the stalk is found to be 
indented, not regularly at opposite sides, but also spirally; that the 
matured plant is characterized, as no other plant is, by two sets of 
seeds, the ears of corn springing out from it two-thirds down and the 
tassels of seeds, sometimes ear lets, at the top; also that these tassels 
resemble the seed-spikes of the spring-grass or pigeon-grass; that the 
leaves themselves while like broad blades of grass are fluted like plumes, 
and that amongst the ears of corn ever and anon are found bunches of 
soot; and, finally, that the colors of the corn are as the colors of the 
world — seven in number. Later on it may be seen to what extent he 
has legendized these characteristics, thus accounting for them, and to 
what extent, also, he has dramatized this, his natural philosophy of 
the corn and its origin. Nothing in this world or universe having 
occurred by accident — so it seems to the Zuni mind, — but everything 
having been started by a personal agency or supernal, he immediately 
begins to see in these characteristics of the corn plant the traces of the 
actions of the peoples in his myths of the olden time. Lo ! men lived 
on grass seeds at first, but, as related iu the course of the legends 
which follow, there came a time when, by the potencies of the gods and 
the magic of his own priests or shamans, man modified the food of first 
men into the food of men's children. It needed only a youth and a 
maiden, continent and pure, to grasp at opposite sides and successively 
the blades of grass planted with plumes of supplication, and walking 


or dancing around them, holding them firmly to draw them upward 
until they had rapidly grown to the tallness of themselves, then to 
embrace them together. Behold! the grasses were jointed where 
grasped four times or six according to their tallness; yea, and marked 
with the thumb-marks of those who grasped them; twisted by their 
grasp while circling around them and leaved with plume-like blades 
and tasseled with grass-like spikes at the tops. More wonderful than 
all, where their persons had touched the plants at their middles, behold ! 
new seed of human origin and productive of continued life had sprung 
forth in semblance of their parentage and draped with the very pile of 
their generation. For lo ! that when the world was new all things in 
it were ¥yaiuna, or formative, as now is the child in the mother's womb 
or the clay by the thoughts of the potter. That the seed of seeds thus 
made be not lost it needed that Paiyatuma, the God of Dew and the 
Dawn, freshen these new-made plants with his breath; that T^natsali, 
the God of Time and the Seasons, mature them instantly with his touch 
and breath; that^Kw^lele, the God of Heat, ripen them with the touch 
of his Fire- brother's torch and confirm to them the warmth of a life of 
their own. Nevertheless, with the coming of each season, the creation 
is ever repeated, for the philosophy of ecclesiasticism is far older than 
ecclesiastics or their writings, and since man aided in the creation of 
the corn, so must he now ever aid in each new creation of the seed of 
seeds. Whence the drama of the origin of corn is not merely reenacted, 
but is revived and reproduced in all its many details with scrupulous 
fidelity each summer as the new seed is ripening. And now I may 
add intelligibly that the drama of primitive man is performed in an 
equally dramaturgic spirit, whether seen, as in its merely culminating 
or final enactment, or unseen and often secret, as in its long-continued 
preparations. In this a given piece of it may be likened to a piece of 
Oriental carving or of Japanese joinery, in which the parts not to be 
seen are as scrupulously finished as are the parts seen, the which is like- 
wise characteristic of our theme, for it is due to the like dramaturgic 
spirit which dominates even the works, no less than the ceremonials, 
of all primitive and semiprimitive peoples. 

So also it seems to the ZuiJi that no less essential is it that all the 
long periods of creation up to the time when corn itself was created 
from the grasses must be reproduced, even though hastily and by mere 
signs, as are the forms through which a given species in animal life has 
been evolved, rapidly repeated in each embryo. 

The significance of such studies as these of a little tribe like the 
Zunis, and especially of such fuller studies as will, it is hoped, follow in 
due course, is not restricted to their bearing on the tribe itself. They 
bear on the history of man the world over. I have become convinced 
that they thus bear on human history, especially on that of human cul- 
ture growth, very directly, too, for the ZuBis, say, with all their strange, 
apparently local customs and institutions and the lore thereof, are 


representative in a more than merely general way of a phase of culture 
through which all desert peoples, in the Old World as well as in the 
New, must sometime have passed. Thus my researches among these 
Zunis and my experimental researches upon myself, with my own hands, 
under strictly primitive conditions, have together given me insight and 
power to interpret their myths and old arts, as I could never otherwise 
have hoped to do; and it has also enlarged my understanding of the 
earliest conditions of man everywhere as nothing else could have done. 
The leisure for this long continued research has been due to the 
generosity, sciejutiflc disinterestedness, and personal kindness of my 
former chief, Professor Spencer P. Baird, and of my present revered 
director, Major J. W. Powell, whose patience and helpfulness through 
years of struggle, ill-health, and delay could not adequately be repaid 
by even the complete carrying out of the series of works herein pro- 
jected and prefaced. To them and to Professor W J McGee, who has 
aided and fostered this work in every possible way, I owe continual 


Before the beginning of the new-making, Awonawilona (the Maker 
and Container of All, the All-father Father), solely had being. There 
was nothing else whatsoever throughout the great space of the ages 
save everywhere black darkness in it, and everywhere void desolation. 

In the beginning of the new-made, Awonawilona conceived within 
himself and thought outward in space, whereby mists of increase? 
steams potent of growth, were evolved and uplifted. Thus, by means 
of his innate knowledge, the All-container made himself in person and 
form of the Sun whom we hold to be our father and who thus came to 
exist and appear. With his appearance came the brightening of the 
spaces with light, and with the brightening of the spaces the great 
mist-clouds were thickened together and fell, whereby was evolved 
water in water ; yea, and the world-holding sea. 

With his substance of flesh {yepnane) outdrawn from the surface 
of his person, the Sun-father formed the seed-stuff of twain worlds, 
impregnating therewith the great waters, and lo ! in the heat of his 
light these waters of the sea grew green and scums [Ic'yanashdtsiyal- 
lawe) rose upon them, waxing wide and weighty until, behold! they 
became Awitelin Tsita, the "Four-fold Containing Mother-earth," and 
Apoyain Ta'chu, the "All-covering Father-sky." 


From the lying together of these twain upon the great world- waters, 
so vitalizing, terrestrial life was conceived ; whence began all beings of 
earth, men and the creatures, in the Four-fold womb of the World ( Awi- 
ten T6hu'hlnakwi). 

Thereupon the Earth-mother repulsed the Sky-father, growing big 
and sinking deep into the embrace of the waters below, thus separa- 
ting from the Sky-father in the embrace of the waters above. As a 
woman forebodes evil for her first-born ere born, even so did the Earth- 
mother forebode, long withholding from birth her myriad progeny and 
meantime seeking counsel with the Sky-father. " How," said they to 

'As stated more fully in the introductory paragraphs, notes giving the etymologies 
of native terms and explaining and amplifying obscure or brief allusions and present- 
ing the special sense in which certain expressions and passages are used will be given 
in the second part of this paper, to appear in the future. 


380 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

oiie another, "shall our children, when brought forth, know one place 
from another, even by the white light of the Sun-father?" 

Now like all the surpassing beings {pilcwaiyin dhdi) the Earth- 
mother and the Sky-father were 'hlimna (changeable), even as smoke 
in the wind; transmutable at thought, manifesting themselves in any 
form at will, like as dancers may by mask-making. 

Thus, as a man and woman, spake they, one to the other. " Behold ! " 
said the Earth-mother as a great terraced bowl appeared at hand 
and within it water, "this is as upon me the homes of my tiny chil- 
dren shall be. On the rim of each world-country they wander in, ter- 
raced mountains shall stand, making in one region many, whereby 
country shall be known from country, and within each, place from place. 
Behold, again ! " said she as she spat on the water and rapidly smote 
and stirred it with her fingers. Foam formed, gathering about the 
terraced rim, mounting higher and higher. " Yea," said she, " and from 
my bosom they shall draw nourishment, for in such as this shall they 
find the substance of life whence we were ourselves sustaineil , for see ! " 
Then with her warm breath she blew across the terraces ; white flecks of 
the foam broke away, and, floating over above the water, were shattered 
by the cold breath of the Sky-father attending, and forthwith shed 
downward abundantly fine mist and spray! "Even so, shall white 
clouds float up from the great waters at the borders of the world, and 
clustering about the mountain terraces of the horizons be borne aloft 
and abroad by the breaths of the surpassing of soul-beings, and of the 
children, and shall hardened and broken be by thy cold, shedding 
downward, in rain-spray, the water of life, even into the hollow places 
of my lap ! For therein chiefly shall nestle our children mankind and 
creature kind, for warmth in thy coldness." 

Lo ! even the trees on high mountains near the clouds and the Sky- 
father crouch low toward the Earth-mother for warmth and i^rotection! 
Warm is the Earth-mother, cold the Sky-father, even as woman is the 
warm, man the cold being! 

"Even so !" said the Sky-father; "Yet not alone shalt thou helpful 
be unto our children, for behold ! " and he spread his hand abroad with 
the palm downward and into all the wrinkles and crevices thereof he 
set the semblance of shining yellow corn grains; in the dark of the 
early world-dawn they gleamed like sparks of fire, and moved as his 
hand was moved over the bowl, shining up from and also moving in 
the depths of the water therein. " See ! " said he, pointing to the seven 
grains clasped by his thumb and four fingers, "by such shall our 
children be guided; for behold, when the Sun-father is not nigh, and 
thy terraces are as the dark itself (being all hidden therein), then shall 
our children be guided by lights— like to these lights of all the six 
regions turning round the midmost one — as in and around the mid- 
most place, where these our children shall abide, lie all the other 
regions of space ! Yea ! and even as these grains gleam up from the 


water, so shall seed-grains like to them, yet numberless, spring up 
from thy bosom when touched by my waters, to nourish our children." 
Thus and in other ways many devised they for their offspring. 


Anon in the nethermost of the four cave- wombs of the world, the seed 
of men and the creatures took form and increased; even as within eggs 
in warm places worms speedily appear, which growing, presently burst 
their shells and become as may happen, birds, tadpoles or serpents, so 
did men and all creatures grow manifoldly and multiply in many kinds. 
Thus the lowermost womb or cave-world, which was Anosin t^huli 
(the womb of sooty depth or of growth-generation, because it was the 
place of first formation and black as a chimney at night time, foul too, 
as the internals of the belly), thus did it become overfilled with being. 
Everywhere were unfinished creatures, crawling like reptiles one over 
another in tilth an^ black darkness, crowding thickly together and tread- 
ing each other, one spitting on another or doing other indecency, inso- 
much that loud became their murmurings and lamentations, until many 
among them sought to escape, growing wiser and more manlike. 


Then came among men and the beings, it is said, the wisest of wise 
men and the foremost, the all-sacred master, Poshaiyagk'ya, he who 
appeared in the waters below, even as did the Sun-father in the wastes 
above, and who arose from the nethermost sea, and pitying men still, 
won upward, gaining by virtue of his (innate) wisdom-knowledge issu- 
ance from that first world-womb through ways so dark and narrow that 
those who, seeing somewhat, crowded after, could not follow, so eager 
were they and so mightily did they strive with one another ! Alone, 
then, he fared upward from one womb (cave) to another out into the 
great breadth of daylight. There, the earth lay, like a vast island in 
the midst of the great waters, wet and unstable. And alone fared he 
forth dayward, seeking the Sun-father and supplicating him to deliver 
mankind and the creatures there below. 



Then did the Sun-father take counsel within himself, and casting his 
glance downward espied, on the great waters, a Foam-cap near to the 
Earth-mother. With his beam he impregnated and with his heat 
incubated the Foam-cap, wheteupon she gave birth to tJauam Achi 
Piahkoa, the Beloved Twain who descended; first, tJanam fihkona, 
the Beloved Preceder, then TJauam Taluna, the Beloved Follower, 
Twin brothers of Light, yet Elder and Younger, the Eight and the 
Left, like to question and answer in deciding and doing. To them the 

382 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ahn.13 

Sun-father imparted, still retaining, control-thought and his own knowl- 
edge-wisdom, even as to the offspring of wise parents their knowing- 
ness is imparted and as to his right hand and his left hand a skillful 
man gives craft freely surrendering not his knowledge. He gave them, 
of himself and their mother the Foam-cap, the great cloud-bow, and for 
arrows the thunderbolts of the four quarters (twain to either), and for 
buckler the fog-making shield, which (spun of the floating clouds and 
spray and woven, as of cotton we spin and weave) supports as on wind, 
yet hides (as a shadow hides) its bearer, defending also. And of men 
and all creatures he gave them the fathership and dominion, also as 
a man gives over the control of his work to the management of his 
hands. Well instructed of the Sun-father, they lifted the Sky-father 
with their great cloud-bow into the vault of the high zenith, that the 
earth might become warm and thus fitter for their children, men and 
the creatures. Then along the trail of the sun-seeking P6shaiyai)k'ya, 
they sped backward swiftly on their floating fog-shield, westward to the 
Mountain of Generation. With their magic knives of the thunderbolt 
they spread open the uncleft depths of the mountain, and still, on their 
cloud-shield — even as a spider in her- web descendeth — so descended 
they unerringly, into the dark of the under-world.. There they abode 
with men and the creatures, attending them, coming to know them, 
and becoming known of them as masters and fathers, thus seeking the 
ways for leading them forth. 


Now there were growing things in the depths, like grasses and crawl- 
ing vines. So now the Beloved Twain breathed on the stems, of these 
grasses (growing tall, as grass is wont to do toward the light, under 
the opening they had cleft and whereby they had descended), causing 
them to increase vastly and rapidly by grasping and walking round 
and round them, twisting them upward until lo ! they reach forth even 
into the light. And where successively they grasped the stems ridges 
were formed and thumb-marks whence sprang branching leaf-stems. 
Therewith the two formed a great ladder whereon men and the crea- 
tures might ascend to the second cave-floor, and thus not be violently 
ejected in after-time by the throes of the Earth-mother, and thereby be 
made demoniac and deformed. 

Up this ladder, into the second cave-world, men and the beings 
crowded, following closely the Two Little but Mighty Ones. Yet many 
fell back and, lost in the darkness, peopled the under-world, whence 
they were delivered in after-time amid terrible earth shakings, becoming 
the monsters and fearfully strange beings of olden time. Lo ! in this 
second womb it was dark as is the night of a stormy season, but larger 
of space and higher than had been the first, because it was nearer the 
navel of the Earth-mother, hence named K'61in tehuli (the XJmbilical- 
womb, or the Place of Gestation). Here again men and the beings 


increased and the clamor of their complainings grew loud and beseech- 
ing. Again the Two, augmenting the growth of the great ladder, guided 
them upward, this time not all at once, but in successive bands to 
becoroe in time the fathers of the six kinds of men (the yellow, tlie tawny 
gray, the red, the white, the mingled, and the black races), and with 
them the gods and creatures of them all. Yet this time also, as before, 
multitudes were lost or left behind. The third great cave-world, where- 
unto men and the creatures had now ascended, being larger than the 
second and higher, was lighter, like a valley in starlight, aud named 
Awisho tehuli — ^the Vaginal- womb, or the Place of Sex-generation or 
Gestation. For here the various peoples and beings began to multi- 
ply apart in kind one from another; and as the nations and tribes of 
men and the creatures thus waxed numerous as before, here, too, it 
became overfilled. As before, generations of nations now were led out 
successively (yet many lost, also as hitherto) into the next and last 
world-cave, T^pahaian tehuli, the Ultimate-uncoverable, or the Womb 
of Parturition. 

Here it was light like the dawning, and men began to perceive and to 
learn variously according to their natures, wherefore the Twain taught 
them to seek first of all our Sun -father, who would, they said, reveal to 
them wisdom and knowledge of the ways of life — wherein also they were 
instructing them as we do little children. Tet like the other cave- 
worlds, this too became, after long time, filled with progeny ; and finally, 
at periods, the Two led forth the nations of men and the kinds of being, 
into this great upper world, which is called T^k'ohaian lilahnane, or 
the World of Disseminated Light and Knowledge or Seeing. 



Eight years made the span of four days and tour nights when the 
world was new. It was while yet such days and nights continued that 
men were led forth, first in the night, that it might be well. For even 
when they saw the great star {mdyachun ^hldna), which since then is 
spoken of as the lying star {mdTcwanosona), they thought it the Sun 
himself, so burned it their eyeballs ! Men and the creatures were nearer 
alike then than now : black were our fathers the late born of creation, 
like the caves from which they came forth ; cold and scaly their skins 
like those of mud-creatures; goggled their eyes like those of an owl; 
membranous their ears like those of cave-bats; webbed their feet like 
those of walkers in wet and soft places ; and according as they were 
elder or younger, they had tails, longer or shorter. They crouched 
when they walked, often indeed, crawling along the ground like toads, 
lizards and newts; like infants who still fear to walk straight, they 
crouched, as before-time they had in their cave- worlds, that they might 
not stumble and fall, or come to hurt in the uncertain light thereof. And 
when the morning star rose they blinked excessively as they beheld its 


brightness and cried out with many mouth-motionings that surely now 
the Father was coming; but it was only the elder of the Bright Ones, 
gone before with elder nations and with his shield of flame, heralding 
from afar (as we herald with wet shell scales or crystals) the approach 
of the Sun-father! Aud when, low down in the east the Sun-father 
himself appeared, what though shrouded ia the midst of the great 
world waters, they were so blinded and heated by his light aud glory 
that they cried out to one another in anguish and fell down wallowing 
and covering their eyes with their bare hands aud arms. Yet ever 
anew they looked afresh to the light and anew struggled toward the 
sun as moths and other night creatures seek the light of a camp fire; 
yea, and what though burned, seek ever anew that light ! 

Thus ere long they became used to the light, and to this high world 
they had entered. Wherefore, when they arose and no longer walked 
bended, lo ! it was then that they first looked full upon one another 
and in horror of their filthier parts, strove to hide. these, even from one 
another, with girdles of bark and rushes ; and when by thus walking 
only upon their hinder feet the same became bruised and sore, they 
sought to protect them with plaited soles (sandals) of yucca fiber. 


It was thus, by much devising of ways, that men began to grow know- 
ing in many things, and were instructed by what they saw^ and so 
became wiser and better able to receive the words and gifts of their 
fathers and elder brothers, the gods. Twain and others, and priests. 
For already masters-to-be were amongst them. Even in the dark of 
the under-worlds such had come to be; as had, indeed, the various 
kinds of creatures-to-be, so these. And according to their natures they 
had found and cherished things, and had been granted gifts by the gods ; 
but as yet they knew not the meaning of their own powers and posses- 
sions, even as children know not the meanings and right uses of the 
precious or needful things given them; nay nor yet the functions of 
their very parts ! Kow in the light of the Sun-father, persons became 
known from persons, and these things from other things ; and thus the 
people came to know their many fathers among men, to know them by 
themselves or by the possessions they had. 

Kow the first and most perfect of all these fathers among men after 
P6shaiyai)k'ya was Yan^uluha, who brought up from the under- world 
water of the inner ocean, and seeds of life-production and growiog 
things; in gourds'he brought these up, and also things containing the 


He who was named YanAuluha carried ever in his hand a staff 
which now in the daylight appeared plumed and covered with feathers 


of beautiful colors — yellow, blue-green, and red, white, black, and 
varied. Attached to it were shells and other potent contents of the 
under-world. When the people saw all these things and the beauti- 
ful baton, and heard the song-like tinkle of the sacred shells, they 
stretched forth their hands like little children and cried out, asking 
many questions. 

Tauiiuluha, and other priests (shiwnndteuna) having been made 
wise by teaching of the masters of life (god-beings) with self-magic- 
knowing {yam tsepan dnihwanan], replied: "It is a staff of extension, 
wherewith to test the hearts and understandings of children." Then 
he balanced it in his hand and struck with it a hard place and blew 
upon it. Amid the plumes appeared four round things, seeds of moving 
beings, mere eggs were they, two blue like the sky or turkis; two dun- 
red like the flesh of the Earth-mother. 

Again the people cried out with wonder and ecstasy, and again asked 
they questions, many. 

"These be," said he who was named Yan^uluha, "the seed of liv- 
ing things; both the cherishers and annoyancers, of summer time; 
choose ye without greed which ye will have for to follow ! For from 
one twain shall issue beings of beautiful plumage, colored like the 
verdure and fruitage of summer ; and whither they fly and ye follow, 
shall be everlastingly manifest summer, and without toil, the pain 
whereof ye ken not, fields full fertile of food shall flourish there. And 
from the other twain shall issue beings evil, uncolored, black, piebald 
with white ; and whither these two shall fly and ye follow, shall strive 
winter with summer; fields furnished only by labor such as ."^e wot not 
of shall ye find there, and contended for between their offspring and 
youi's shall be the food-fruits thereof. 

"The blue! the blue!" cried the people, and those who were most 
hasty and strongest strove for the blue eggs, leaving the other eggs 
for those who had waited. "See," said they as they carried them with 
much gentleness and laid them, as one would the new-born, in soft 
sand on the sunny side of a cliff, watching them day by day, " precious 
of color are these; surely then, of precious things they must be the 
seed!" And "Yea verily!" said they when the eggs cracked and 
worms issued, presently becoming birds with open eyes and with pin- 
feathers under their skins, " Verily we cliose with understanding, for see ! 
yellow and blue, red and green are their dresses, even seen through 
their skins ! " So they fed the pair freely of the food that men favor — 
thus alas ! cherishing their appetites for food of all kinds ! But when 
their feathers appeared they were black with white bandings; for 
ravens were they! And they flew away mocking our fathers and 
croaking coarse laughs ! 

And the other eggs held by those who had waited and by their 
father Yan4uluha, became gorgeous macaws and were wafted by 
him with a toss of his wand to the far southward summer-land. As 
13 BTH 25 

386 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

father, yet child of the macaw, he chose as the symbol and name of 
himself and as father of these his more deliberate children — those who 
had waited — the macaw and the kindred of the macaw, the Mula-kwe; 
whilst those who had chosen the ravens became the Raven-people, 
or the Ka'ka-kwe. 

Thus first was our nation divided into the People of Winter and the 
People of Summer. Of the Winter those who chose the raven, who 
were many and strong; and of the Summer those who cherished the 
macaw, who were fewer and less lusty, yet of prudent understanding 
because more deliberate. Hence, Yan^ulaha their father, being wise, 
saw readily the light and ways of the Sun-father, and being made 
partaker of his breath, thus became among men as the Sun-father is 
among the little moons of the sky; and speaker to and of the Sun- 
father himself, keeper and dispenser of precious things and command- 
ments, Pekwi Shiwani Ehkona (and Earliest Priest of the Sun). He 
and his sisters became also the seed of all priests who pertain to 
the Midmost clau-line of the priest fathers of the people themselves 
"masters of the house of houses." By him also, and his seed, were 
established and made good the i>riests-keepers of things. 


The Twain Beloved and priest fathers gathered in council for the 
naming and selection of man-groups and creature-kinds {tdnaice), 
spaces, and things. Thus determined they that the creatures and 
things of summer and the southern space pertained to the Southern 
people, or Children of the Producing Earth-mother ; and those of winter 
and northern space, to the Winter people, or Children of the Forcing or 
Quickening Sky-father. 

Of the Children of Summer, somij loved and understood most the 
Sun, hence became the fathers of the Sun people (Ya'tok'ya-kwe). 
Some loved more the water, and became the Toad people (Tak'ya-kwe), 
Turtle people (fitaa-kwe), or Frog people (Ti'ik'yaiuna-kwe), who so 
much love the water. Others, again loved the seeds of earth and 
became the People of Seed (Taatem'hlauah-kwe), such as those of the 
First-growing grass (Pi'taa-kwe, now Aiyaho-kwe), and of the Tobacco 
(Ana-kwe). Yet still others loved the warmth and became the Fire or 
Badger people (Tonashi-kwe). According, then, to their natures and 
inclinations or their gifts from below or of the Masters of Life, they 
chose or were chosen for their totems. 

Thus, too, it was with the People of Winter or the North. They 
chose, or were chosen and named, according to their resemblances or 
aptitudes; some as the Bear people (Aiijshi-kwe), Coyote people 
(Suski-kwe), or Deer people (Shohoita-kwe) ; others as the Crane peo- 
ple (Ka'lokta-kwe), Turkey people (Tona-kwe) or Grouse people (Poyi- 


kwe). lu this wise it came to pass that the Ashiwe were divided of 
old in such wise as are their children today, into dnotiice (clans or 
kinties) of brothers and sisters who may not marry one another, but 
from one to another of kin. Yea, and as the Earth-mother had increased 
and kept within herself all beings, cherishing them apart from their 
father even after they came forth, so were these our mothers and sis- 
ters made the keepers of the kin-names and of the seed thereof, nor 
may the children of each be cherished by any others of kin. 

Now the Beloved Foremost Ones (TJan filhkon Ateona) of these clans 
were prepared by instruction of the gods and the fathers of the house 
of houses and by being breathed of them {pua¥i/ana2}li'ya), whereby 
they became dshiwani or priests also, but only the priests of pos- 
session, master keepers of sacred things and mysteries {tilitlapon 
dmosi), each according to his nature of kinship. It was thus that 
the warmth- wanting [tek'yii^hlna shema) Badger-people were given 
the great shell {tsiilikeinan %lana), the heart or navel of which is 
potent or sensitive of fire, as of the earthquake and the inner iire is 
the coiled navel of the Earth-mother. On the suuny sides of hills bur- 
row the badgers, finding and dwelling amongst the dry roots whence 
is fire. Thus the "Two Badgers" were made keepers of the sacred 
heart-shell {siiti IcHli achi), makers and wardens of fire. So, too, 
were the Bear, Crane, and Grouse people given the miietone, or 
the contained seed substance of hail, snow and new soil (for the bear 
sleeps, no longer guarding when winter comes, and with the returning 
crane, in the wake of the duck, comes winter in the trail of the 
white growing grouse). So, to the Toad and other water people, 
descended to them from Yansiuluha the li^ydetone, or the contained 
seed-substance of water; and to the Ataa-kwe, or All-seed-people, 
especially to the First-growing-grass people and the Tobacco people, 
was given of him also, the chdetone, or the contained seed-substance 
of corn grains. 



Xow when the foremost ones of more than one of these kin clans pos- 
sessed a contained or sacred seed-substance, they banded together, 
forming a society for the better use and keeping of its medicine and its 
secret (forbidden) mysteries, and for the guidance and care thereby 
of their especial children. Thus, leading ones of the Bear people. Crane 
people, and Grouse people became the 'Hleeta-kwe, or Bearers of the 
Ice-wands as they are sometimes called, whose prayers and powers 
bring winter, yet ward off its evils to the flesh and fearsomeness to the 
soul. But at first, only four were the bands of priest-keepers of the 
mysteries: Shiwana kwe, or the Priesthood of Priest people; Sdnia- 
k'ya-kwe, or the Priesthood of the Hunt, who were of the Coyote, Eagle, 
and Deer kin, Keepers of the Seed-substance of Game; Achiak'ya- 

388 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth,ann.13 

kwe or the Great Knife people, makers and defenders of pathways for 
the people; and N^we-kwe, keepers of magic medicines and knowl- 
edge invincible of poison and other evil, whose first great father was 
Paiyatuma, God of Dew and the Dawn, himself. Out of these and 
of other clans were formed in later days by wisdom of the Father of 
Medicines and Eites (the great Poshaiyagk'ya, when he returned, all 
as is told in other talk of our olden speech) all other societies, both 
that of the Middle, and the Twain for each of all the other six regions 
{tem'halatekwiwe,) the Tabooed and Sacred Thirteen. But when all 
was new, men did not know the meanings of their possessions, or even 
of the commandments [haitoslinawe); even as children know not the 
prayers [teusupenawe). These they must first be taught, that in later 
days, when there is need therefor, they may know them and not be 



As it was with men and the creatures, so with the world; it was 
young and unripe {¥yaiyuna). Unstable its surface was, like that 
of a marsh; dank, even the high places, like the floor of a cavern, so 
that seeds dropped on it sprang forth, and even the substance of offal 
became growing things. 

Earthquakes shook the world and rent it. Beings of sorcery, 
demons and monsters of the under-world fled forth. Creatures turned 
fierce, becoming beasts of prey, wherefore others turned timid, becom- 
ing their quarry; wretchedness and hunger abounded, black magic, 
war, and contention entered when fear did into the hearts of men and 
the creatures. Yea, fear was everywhere among them, wherefore, 
everywhere the people, hugging in dread their precious possessions, 
became wanderers they, living on the seeds of grasses, eaters of dead 
and slain things ! Yet still, they were guided by the Two Beloved, 
ever in the direction of the east, told and taught that they must seek, 
in the light and under the pathway of the Sun, the middle of the 
world, over which alone could they find the earth stable, or rest them 
and bide them in peace. 


When the tremblings grew stilled for a time, the people were bidden 
to gather and pause at the First of Sitting-places, which was named 
K'6yatiwankwi (Place of upturning or elevation), l^et still poor and 
defenseless and unskilled were the children of men, still moist and 
ever-anon unstable the world they abode in. Still also, great demons 
and monsters of prey fled violently forth in times of earthquake [dnu- 
kwailc'yanak'ya) and menaced all wanderers and timid" creatures. 
Therefore the Beloved Twain took counsel one with the other and with 


the Sun-father, and instructed by him, the elder said to the younger, 
" Brother, behold ! 

That the earth be made safer for men, and more stable, 

Let us shelter the land where our children be resting, 

Yea ! the depths and the valleys beyond shall be sheltered 

By the shade of our cloud-shield! Let us lay to its circle 

Our firebolts of thunder, aimed to all the four regions, 

Then smite with our arrows of lightning from under. 

Lo ! the earth shall heave upward and downward with thunder ! 

Lo ! fire shall belch outward and burn the world over, 

And floods of hot water shall seethe swift before it ! 

Lo ! smoke of earth-stenches shall blacken the daylight 

And deaden the senses of them else escaping 

And lessen the number of fierce preying monsters ! 

That the earth be made safer for men, and more stable." 

" It were well," said the younger, ever eager, ;ind forthwith they 
made ready as they had between themselves devised. Then said the 
elder to the younger, 

"Wilt thou stand to the right, or shall I, younger brother?" 
" I will stand to the right! " said the younger, and stood there. 
To the left stood the elder and when all was ready, 
' Hlu& they let fly at the firebolts, their arrows ! 
Deep bellowed the earth, heaving upward and downward. 
" It is done," said the elder. " It is well," said the younger. 

Dread was the din and stir. The heights staggered and the moun- 
tains reeled, the plains boomed and crackled under the floods and fires, 
and the high hollow-places, hugged of men and the creatures, were 
black and awful, so that these grew crazed with panic and strove alike 
to escape or to hide more deeply. But ere-wLile they grew deafened 
and deadened, forgetful and asleep ! A tree lighted of lightning burns 
not long! Presently thick rain fell, quenching the fires; and waters 
washed the face of the world, cutting deep trails from the heights 
downward, and scattering abroad the wrecks and corpses of stricken 
things and beings, or burying them deeply. Lo ! they are seen in the 
mountains to this day; and in the trails of those fierce waters cool 
rivers now run, and where monsters perished lime of their bones 
[dluwe — calcareous nodules in malpais or volca.nic tuff) we find, and 
use in food stuff ! Gigantic were they, for their forms little and great 
were often burned or shriveled and contorted into stone. Seen are 
these, also, along the depths of the world. Where they huddled together 
and were blasted thus, their blood gushed forth and flowed deeply, here 
in rivers, there in floods ; but it was charred and blistered and blackened 
by the fires, into the black rocks of the lower mesas [dpkwina, lava 
or malpais). There were vast plains of dust, ashes and cinders, 
reddened as is the mud of a hearth-place. There were great banks of 
clay and soil burned to hardness — as clay is when baked in the kUu- 
mound, — biacliened, bleached or stained yellow, gray, red, or white, 
streaked and banded, bended or twisted. Worn and broken by 

390 ZUXI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

the heavings of the under-world and by the waters aud breaths of the 
ages, they are the mountain-terraces of the Earth-mother, "dividing 
country from country ! '" Tet many were the places behind and between 
these — dark canyons, deep valleys, sunken plains — unharmed by the 
fires, where they swerved or rolled higher — as, close to the track of a 
forest-fire, green grow trees and grasses, and even flowers continue to 
bloom. Therein, and in the land sheltered by the shield, tarried the 
people, awakened, as from fearful dreams. Dry and more stable was 
the world now, less fearsome its lone places; since, changed to rock 
were so many monsters of prey (some shriveled to the size of insects; 
made precious as amulets for the hunter and warrior, as told in other 
talks of our ancient speech). 


But ever and anon the earth trembled anew in that time, and the 
people troubled. 

"Thus, being, it is not well," said the Two. "Let us again seek 
the Middle. " So, they led their myriads far eastward and tarried them 
at T^sak'ya Yala (Place of nude mountains). 


Yet soon again the world rumbled, and again they led the way 
into a country and place called Ttlmelan K'yaiyawan (Where tree 
boles stand in the midst of the waters). There the people abode for 
long; saying (poor people!) "This is the Middle!"- Therefore they 
built homes. At times they met people who had gone before, thus 
learning much of ways in war, for in the fierceness that had entered 
their hearts with fear, they deemed it not well, neither liked they to 
look upon strangers peacefully. And many strange things also were 
learned and happened there, that are told in other speeches of the 
ancient talk. 

Having fought and grown strong, lo ! when at last the earth groaned 
and the conches sounded warning, and the Twain bade them forth, 
forsooth! they murmured much, and many (foredoomed!), turned head- 
strong and were left to perish miserably in their own houses as do 
rats in falling trees, or flies in forbidden food ! 



But the greater company went obediently forward, until at last they 
neared Shipololon K'yaia (Steam mist in the midst of the waters). 
Behold! they saw as they journeyed, the smoke of men's hearth-fires 
and a great assemblage of houses scattered over the hills before them ! 
And when they came closer they met dwellers in those places, nor 
looked peacefuUy upon them— having erstwhile in their last standing- 


place, had touch of war — but challenged them rudely, to know, for- 
sooth, who they were and why there. 



"We are the People of Seed," said these strangers, replying to our 
fathers of old, "born elder brothers of yc, and led of the gods!" 

"Xay, " contended our fathers, "verily, we are led of the gods and 
of us are the Seed people and the substance of seed whereof our 
wise elders carry the potencies. " Whereupon they grew yet more 
angry, so dark were they of understanding! 

The peoijle who called themselves "Of the Seed" — who were none 
others than the "Drinkers of the Dew of Grasses" — bade them pause. 
" Behold ! " said they, " we have powers above yours, yet without your 
aid we can not exert them ; even as the mothers of men may not be fer- 
tile save of the fathers. Ye are our younger brothers, for verily so are 
your People of Seed, and more precious than they know, are they and 
their sacred keepings, ye — unwittingly, alack ! — so boast of; even as 
we are more wise than ye are and in ourselves quickening withal, for 
ye are, like virgins, unthinking, yet fertile. Now go to ! Let us look 
peacefully upon one another. Do ye, therefore, try first your powers 
with the sacred things ye carry according as ye have been instructed 
or may best devise; then will we according to our knowledge of these 
things and our own practices try our powers with them also, showing 
forth our customs unto you." 

At last, after much wrangling and council, the people agreed to this. 
And they set apart the time, eight days (as now days are numbered) 
wherein to make their preparations, which was well; for therefrom 
resulted to. them great gain, yea, and the winning of these stranger 
villagers, and by wise and peaceful acts rather than by war and the 
impetuosity of right hands. In the borders of the plain in the midst 
of cedars (fuel furnishers of the food-maturing fire, these!) and under 
the shade of Hemlocks (Tree-goddesses of the food-growing water, 
these!) they encamped. And at the foot of the Hemlocks, facing 
the sunlight, they builded them of cedar boughs a great bower: like 
to it, only lesser, are those whence we watch and foster the ripening 
of our corn; for from their bower thus fashioned, our fathers and 
mothers, the priests and priest-matrons of old, watched and labored 
for the first birth of corn, and in this wondrous wise, as young parents 
watch for the birth of their children, though not knowing of what kind 
or favor they will be, nevertheless expectantly of heart; and as we now 
watch the fulfilment of our harvests. 

So, the seed-priests and master-keepers of the possessions, and 
their fathers (those of the house of houses) fasted and intently con- 
templated their sacred substances to divine the means thereof. And 
it seemed good to them to cut wands of the spaces, painting them 

392 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

significantly and pluming them in various ways with the feathers of 
the cloud and cummer sun-loving birds (Olowik'ya Wowe P6kwi 
Ashiwani), thinking thereby to waft the breath of their prayers and 
incantations (taught of the Surpassing Ones all in the new time of 
the world) and to show forth their meanings even so far as unto the 
ancient sitting spaces of those who first taught them. 

When all else was prepared, they made a shrine around their mii- 
etone (or medicine seed of hail and soil) their ¥ydetone (or inedicine 
seed of the water and rain) and their ehuetone (or medicine seed 
of grains). And around these, and reaching out toward the Sun 
before them, they set their plumed wands of message. For the plain 
was dry and barren, and they wanted fresh soil by the hail torrents, 
moisture by the rain, and growth of seed-substance, that they might the 
better exhibit their powers to these strangers; if perchance, in response 
to their labors and beseechings, these things would be vouchsafed them. 
Therefore, that the meaning of their beseechings might be the more 
plain and sure of favor, certain ones of the sage priests, sought out and 
placed the largest and most beautifully colored grass seeds they could 
find among the stores of their way-farings, in the gourd with the chii- 
etone, and then cut from branches of the easy growing cottonwood 
and willow, gleaned from the ways of water, goodly wands which they 
plumed and painted, like in color to each kind of seed they had selected; 
yellow, green, red, white, black, speckled, and mottled; one for each 
side of the sacred gourd, one to be laid upon it, one to be laid under it, 
and one to be placed within it; and as soon as finished, thus they dis- 
posed the wands. 

Now when night came, these master-priests took the ehuetone — all 
secretly, whilst the others were drowsy — and carried it, with the 
plumed wands they had made, out into the plain, in front of the 
bower. There they breathed into these things the prayers and over 
them softly intoned the incantations which had been taught them 
in the new time of the world. Then they placed the ehuetone on 
the ground of the plain and on each side of it, by the light of the 
seven great stars which were at that time rising bright above them, 
they planted one of the plumed wands with the seeds of its color; 
first, the brightest, yellow with the yellow grass seeds, on the north ; 
then the blue with the green grass seeds, on the west; then the red 
with the red seeds, to the south, and the white with the white seeds to 
the east; but the other three plumed wands they could not plant, one 
above, the other below, and the last within the gourd; so looking 
at the stars they saw how that they were set, four of them as though 
around a gourd like their own, and three others as though along 
its handle! '■'■Hd! GhulcwS!" said they. "'Tis a sign, mayhap, of 
the Sky-father!" whereupon they set each of the others in a line, 
the black one with its seeds of black, nearest to the sacred gourd 
below the handle; the speckled one with its spotted seeds next, 
on the other side of the handle, and the mottled one with its 


dappled seeds far out at the end of the handle, that it might (being 
of the colors of all the others) point out each of them, as it were, and 
lead them all ! 

And when, on the morrow, the watchers saw the plumes standing 
there all beautiful in the plain, and asked who planted them, and for 
what, the priests replied, " Verily they were planted in the night, while 
ye heedlessly drowsed, by the seven stars." Thereat the people, mis- 
taking their meaning, exclaimed, " Behold ! the seed wands of the stars 
themselves!" and they joyed in the omen that their prayers had been 
heard so far. And lo ! during the eight days and nights there arose 
thick mists, hail and rain descended until torrents poured down from the 
mountains bringing new soil and spreading it evenly over the plain. 
And when on the morning of the ninth day the clouds rolled away, 
"jBiMM."' shouted our fathers of the Seed kin to the stranger people; 
"Water and new soil bring we, where erst was barren hardness; yea, 
even grasses, tall and plumed as were our wands, and spiked with seed, 
for the grass seed had sprouted and the new wands taken root and 
grown, and now had long feathery blades and tall, tasseled stems, wav- 
ing in the wind. 

"Yea, verily!" cried the People of the First-growing-grass kin 
(Aik'yaho-kwe), chief of the clans of Seed, "we are the People of 
the Seed!" 

But the strangers, heeding not their boastings, replied, " Tea, verily, 
enough ! It is well ! Truly water and new soil ye have brought, and 
grasses growing great therefrom, yet ye have not brought forth new 
life therefor of the flesh of men or the seed of seeds ! Gome now, let 
us labor together, in order that what ye have begun may be perfected. 
New soil and the seed of its production, the seed of water, yea even 
the substance of seed itself we had not, yet of the seed of seed we 
are verily the people, and our maidens are the mothers thereof, as ye 
shall see." 

Then they, too, set apart eight days, during which to prepare for 
their custom, and they further said, " That we may be perfect in the 
plenishing and generation of the seed of seeds, send us forth, O, ye 
comers, a youth of the kin of Water and of those who hold posses- 
sion of the precious k'ydetone, which give unto us likewise, that we join 
it to the chuetone ye have placed in the midst of the growing plants, 
according to our understanding of its meaning and relation. And let 
the youth be goodly and perfect and whole of seed." 

Therefore the fathers of the people chose forth, it is said, Tdpo- 
tuluha, of the clans of Water, foster child of the great Sun-priest 
Yan^uluha, and named of him. And into his hand they gave the 
¥ydetone and certain of their wands of worship, and sent him to 
the strangers glorious to look upon. Now there were in the village of 
the stranger Seed people seven maidens, sisters of one another, virgins 
of one house, and foster children of Paiyatuma (the God of Dew) him- 
self. And tiiey were surpassingly beautiful, insomuch so that they 


were likened to the seven bright stars and are sung of in the songs of 
the Seed people and told of iu their stories. They, too, were chosen 
and breathed upon by all the fathers and matrons of the Seed, and 
with the youth Ya|>otuluha, instructed in the precious rites and incan- 
tations of their custom. And during all the time of preparation rain 
fell as before, only gently and warm, and on the eighth day the matrons 
and fathers led the maidens and youth, all beautifully arrayed, down 
into the plain before the bower where watched the people and grew 
the grasses. And there they danced and were breathed of the sacred 
medicine seeds. All through the night backward and forward danced 
they to the song line of the elders, and in accordance therewith by 
the side of the growing plants, motioning them upward with their 
magic wands and plumes, as we, with implements of husbandry, 
encourage the growth upward of the corn plants today. As time 
went on, the matron of the dance led the youth and the first maiden 
apart, and they grasped, one oa either side, the first plants, dancing 
around them, gently drawing them upward as they went, even as the 
Two Beloved had caused to grow the canes of the under- world. So 
also did the youth and each maiden iu turn grasp the other jjlants in 
their turn, until all had grown to the tallness of themselves and were 
jointed where they had grasped them; yea, and leaved as with waving 
plumes of the macaw himself. And now, in the night, the keepers 
of the great shells (of the Badger kin), brought forth fire with their 
hands from roots, and kindled it in front of the bower toward the east, 
that its heat might take the place of the Sun and its light shine brightly 
on the dancers, making their acts verily alive; and as the dawn 
approached, the youth and first maiden were led apart as before by the 
Mother-making matron, and together embraced the first of the fulj 
grown plants, and so, in turn, the youth and each of the other maidens 
embraced the other plants. 

And as they embraced the first plant, the fire flamed brightly, with 
the first catching and flush of the wood, and yellow was its light ; and 
as they embraced the second plant, the flames were burning smokily with 
the fuller grasping of the wood, and blue was the light; and as they 
were embracing the third plant, the fire reached its fullness of mastery 
over the wood, and red was its light ; and as they were embracing the 
fourth plant, the fire was fumeless and triumphant over the wood, and 
white was its light ; and as they were embracing the fifth plant, the fire 
gave up its breath in clouds of sparks, and streaked, of many colors, 
was its light; and as they were embracing the sixth plant, the fire 
swooned and slept, giving more heat, as 'twere, than light, thus somber 
was the light, yet, as they were embracing the seventh plant, it 
wakened afresh^ did the fire, in the wind of the morning, and glowed 
as does the late fire of the wanderer, with a light of all the colors. 

Now, when the day dawned, lo ! where the mid-persons of the youth 
and the maidens had touched most unitedly and warmly the plants, 


new parts appeared to the beholders, showing, through their cover- 
ings, many colors, soft hair shrouding them, as if to make precious 
their beauty. 

Whilst the people still gazed at these, wondering, out from the East- 
land came Paiyatuma and Tenatsali of the All-colored flowers (God 
of the Seasons), followed by Kwelele with his flame-potent fire- wand. 
Paiyatuma touched the plants with the refreshing breath of his flute; 
Tenatsali with the flesh-renewing breath of his flowers; Kwdlele, with 
the ripening breath of his torch, whereby the new parts were hardened, 
some to fruitfulness ; others, being too -closely touched, burned to the 
very heat of generative warmth, unfruitful in itself, but fruitful mak- 
ing! Then, as Paiyatuma waved his flute, lo! following Tenatsali, 
the maidens and the attendant Kw61ele went forth and disappeared 
in the mist of the morning. As they vanished, Paiyatuma turned to 
where, full in the light of the rising sun, stood the seven plants. Lithe 
and tall stoot]. he there beside them like a far journeyer, and said to the 
awed watchers : 

Lo ! ye children of men and the Mother, 

Ye Brothers of Seed, 

Elder, younger, 

Behold the seed plants of all seeds ! 

The grass-seeds ye planted, in secret, 

Wore seen of the stars and the regions, 

Are shown in the forms of these tassels ! 

The plumes that ye jilanted heside them 

Were felt in the far away spaces. 

Are shown in the forms of their leaf-blades! 

But the seed tliat ye see growing from them. 

Is the gift of my sevcu bright maidens. 

The stars of the house of my children ! 

Look well, that ye cherish their persons. 

Nor change ye the gift of their being, — 

As fertile of flesh for all men 

To the bearing of children for men, — 

Lest ye lose them, to seek them in vain ! 

Be ye brothers ye people, and people ; 

Be ye happy ye Priests of the Corn ! 

Lo ! the seed of all seed-plants is born ! 

As the people eagerly looked, the mists of the morning were seen 
to be clearing away, and gone within them, even as his voice, was 
Paiyatuma ! 

''Thanks this day," together said the fathers and their people, as 
they looked upon the plants before them, then at the stranger people. 
"Verily, ye are our elder brothers, and as children and sisters, yea as 
our very mothers, will we cherish thy maidens and the substance of 
their flesh!" 

"Yea," replied these other Seed people, "eating thereof, ye shall 
become in very truth our younger brothers I For even as the father 
hath said, these be the product of our hands joined with thine in labor. 


and of our hearts joined with thine in sacred thought." Then the an- 
cient of the People of Dew stood in place of Paiyatuma, and spake: 

Behold the fulfilment of work j'e hcgau ! 

Ears fully gifted with fruitage of kernels 

By the warmth of our maidens 

In embrace with your Eain youth ; 

The seed of their persons 

All wrapped in soft garments 

And draped with the hair 

Of their full generation ; 

All proportioned and formed 

By the touch of the Dew God ; 

Made complete and mature 

By the touch of the Time God; 

Ripened fully, as food, 

By the touch of the Fire God! 

First, yet last of them all 

Is the plant of the Middle — 

With its seven-fold kernels 

And hues of the emhers — 

Is the corn of all regions, 

The I-to-pa-nah-na-kwe! 

Yet the earliest quickened 

By the eldest Corn maiden, 

Is the corn of the North land ; 

Made yellow by flame-light, — 

The hue of the North sky 

Seen in winter or gloaming, — 

Is the strong 'Hliip-tsi-kwa-kwe! 

Til en the corn of the West land 

By the next sister quickened, — 

Made blue by the smoke-light, — 

Is hued like the ocean 

Or shadows of evening, — 

The rich 'Hli-a-kwa-kwe ! 

Next, the corn of the South land, 

By the third sister quickened. 

Is red, like the flowers 

And fruitage of summer — 

Made so by the brand-light— 

Is the sweet Shf-k'ya-na-kwe! 

Next the corn of the East land 

The fourth sister quickened. 

Is white, like the milk 

Which we drink in the morning 

Of life; like the light 

Of the dawning each morning — 

Made so by full fire-light — 

Is the pure K'6-ha-kwa-kwe! 

Next, the corn of the Zenith, 

The fifth sister quickened. 

Is streaked like the sky 

With the clouds and the rainbow — 

Made so by the spark-light — 

Is the hard K'li-chu-a-kwe! 

ci-^imia] THE ORIGIN OF CORN. 397 

And next is the coru of 
The dark Lower regions 
The sixth sister quickened ; 
Is black like the depth of 
The earth it emerged from — 
Made so by the heat-light — 
Is the soft Kwi-ni-kwa-kwe ! 
Last, as first, is the Mid-most, 
Quickened first by the seventh 
Of all the Corn maidens ; 
Bearing grains of each color — 
Made so by the embers — 
And seed of them all, 
Hence, the T6m-'hla-nah-na-k'ya, 
I-to-pa-nah-na-kwe ! 

Thus, of the substance of all flesh is the seed of seeds, Corn ! And 
suited to all peoples and places; yet we, brothers younger are with ye, 
favored in the light, In that together we are its priests and keepers. 
Let us there&re love it and cherish it, as we cherish and love our 
women ; and it shall be the giver of milk to the youthful and of flesh 
to the aged, as our women folk are the givers of life to our youth and 
the sustaiuers of life in our age; for of the mother-milk of the Beloved 
Maideus it is filled, and of their flesh the substance. Eating thereof, 
thy youth shall grow strong and handsome, thy maidens beautiful and 
fruitful, even as are themselves, the Beloved Maidens, our mothers and 

"Be it well!" said the fathers. "Brothers younger to ye, let us 
indeed be, and let us, therefore, clasp the warm hands of brothers 
elder and brothers younger, making the words of the Father of Dawn 
true, in truth!" 

Then the ancient of the People of the Dew replied : 

It is well, brothers younger ! 
Dwell in peace by our firesides. 
Guard the seed of our maidens, 
Each kind as ye see it. 
Apart from the others. 
And by lovingly toiling, 
As by toiling and loving. 
Men win the full favor 
And hearts of their maidens, 
So, from year unto year 
Shall ye win by your watch iug, 
And power of beseeching. 
And care for the corn-flesh, 
The favor and pleuish 
Of our seven Corn maidens. 
They shall dance for the increase 
And strength of the corn-seed. 
Of each grain, making many — 
Each grain that ye nourish 
With new soil and water! 
For long, ere ye fouud us, 

398 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. ieth.ann. 13 

We afar sought for water, 
Drinking dew from our father, 
Like deer, on the mountains ! 
And for long ere ye found us 
Ye wandered in hunger, 
Seeking seed of the grasses. 
Like birds on the mesas. 
Thus, 'tis well, brothers younger, 
That ye dwell by our firesides! 

Thus, happily were our fathers joined to the People of the Dew, and 
the many houses on the hills were now builded together in the plain 
where first grew the corn plants abundantly; being prepared year after 
year by the beautiful custom of the ever young maidens, and attended 
faithfully by the labors of the people and the vigils of their fathers. 


When men had almost forgotten the seeking of tbe Middle, the earth 
trembled anew, and the shells sounded warning. Murmuring sore 
when the Twain Beloved came and called them again, yet carrying 
whatsoever they could with them (more preciously than all things else 
save their little ones, the seed of corn!), they and the people they had 
dwelt with journeyed on, seeking safety. For now, their kin were 
mingled; thus, their children were one people. Wheresoever they 
rested, they builded them great houses of stone, all together, as may 
still be seen. And in the plains ever they built them bowers for the 
watching of the renewal and growth of the seeds of the corn. There- 
fore, they never hungered whether journeying anon or sitting still. 


Now with much of journeying the people came to grow weary with 
ever seeking for the Middle all together, along a single way, insomuch 
that increasingly they murmured whenever they were summoned and 
must needs be leaving their homes and accustomed ranging-places. 
And so they fell to devising amongst themselves, until at last it 
seemed good to them to be sending messengers forth in one direction 
and another, the sooner to feel out the better way, and find signs of the 
Middle : as, by dividing, a company of hunters the sooner find trace of 
their quarry. 

ISTow there was a priest of the people named Ka'wimdsa (of the Ka'ka 
master-maker or source), thus named because he it was Avho was to estab- 
lish, all unwittingly, the most potent and good sacred dance (myth- 
drama or Ka'ka) as happened after this wise : 

He had four sons (some say more) and a daughter. And bis eldest 
son was named K'yiik'lu, which signifies, it is said, "Whensoever;" 
for he was wiser of words and the understanding thereof than all 
others, having listened to the councils of men with all beings, since 


ever the inner beginning! So, when it was asked who of the precious 
ones (children of priest- fathers and priest-mothers) should journey 
northward, seeking to learn the distance thitherward to the great 
embracing waters, that the Middle might be the better surmised; nor 
said the Twain aught, as we say naught, to little children -weary of a 
way that must, weary or nay, be accomplished! When this was 
asked, Ka'wimosa, the priest, bethought himself of his wise eldest 
son and said, "Here is he!" Thus K'yiik'lu was summoned, and made 
ready with sacrifice presentations from all the priests to all the sur- 
passing-ones for the great journey; and he departed. 

Long the people waited. But at last it was said, " Lost is our 
K'yak'lu ! For wise of words was he, but not wise of ways ! " 

And the fathers, mourning, again called a council. Again, when it 
was inquired, Ka'wimosa the priest, bethought him, and cried, 
"Here!" and again were made ready duly and sent forth messen- 
gers, this time southward, the next younger brothers of K'yak'lu 
(Anahoho4tchi) ; for, said the father, they will guide one another 
if ye send twain. And of these, also, much is told in other talks of 
our ancient speech; but then, they too, lingered by the way. 

Once more a council was called, and again, when it was inquired, 
Ka'wimosa cried, "Here!" and this time the youngest son, who was 
named Siweluhsiwa, because he was a long-haired youth of great 
beauty; and the daughter, who was named Siwiluhsitsa, because 
she was a long-tressed maiden of beautiful person; they also were 
summoned and made ready duly and sent eastward. 


Far they journeyed, and as the day quickened they saw before them 
a distant high mountain. 

Let us hasten, O, sister, my sjster ! 
Thou art weary with travel, my sister; 
We will rest in the shade of yon mountain. 
I will build you a bower of cedar, 
And seek m the cliffs for game-trentnres ; 
And you shall rest happily, sister. 

Thus spake he, for he loved his sister and her beauty. (H"ay, butshe 
was soft and beautiful!) 

And so, they hastened. When they reached the mountain, Siwe- 
luhsiwa built a bower of cedar branches under the shade of a tree. 
Then he went forth to seek game. When, having captured some, he 
returned, his sister was sleeping in the bower; so he stepped softly, 
that he might not disturb her — for he loved his sister, and gently he 
sat himself down before her and leaned his chin on his hand to watch 
her. The wind softly blew to and fro, and she slept on; her white 
cotton mantle and garments were made light for the journey, and thus 
the wind played with them as it listed over her prostrate form. As the 

400 ZUNl CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

brother gazed at her, he became crazed with love of her, greater than 
that of a brother's, greater than that of kin men for kin t * * * 

Crazed was he, yea, and bideless of act; and the sister, thus 
awakened, fled from him in loud affright, and then, in shame and hot 
anger turning, upbraided him fiercely. Wondrous beings were they, 
more than it is the lot of mere men in these days to be, for they were 
the children of Ka'wimosa the priest, and a priestess- mother in the 
times of creation and newness. And so, like to the surpassing ones, 
they were '■hlimnawiho, or changeable-by-will inclined; yea, and all 
things were Tc'yaiyuna or formative, when the world was new! Lo, 
now ! Therefore, as she upbraided him, her eyes grew great and glar- 
ing and her face spotted and drawn. And he, as he heard and saw 
her, grew dazed, and stood senseless before her, his head bowed, his 
eyes red and swollen, his brow bent and burning. 

"Thou shameless of men ! " cried the maiden. " Know that thou shalt 
return to thy people never ; nay, nor will I ! Lo ! I will make by mine 
the power a deep water dividing this mountain ! Alone on one side 
shalt thou dwell, alone on the other dwell I ! I will draw a line, and 
make a swift water between the day-land and the night-land, between 
all our people and us ! " She stamped with her sandal as she spake, and 
deep was the mark thereof; for the mountain was hollow and resound- 
ing. Then she ran headlong down to the westward end of tbe moun- 
tain and drew her foot along the sands from the south to the northward, 
and deep was the gully she made. And the brother, seeing her flee, 
ran after her calling hoarsely. But now, as he neared her, he stopped 
and stared; and forthwith grew crazed more than ever ; but with anguish 
and fright this time, at her rage and distortion. As she turned again 
back, he threw his arms aloft, and beat his head and temples and tore 
away his hair and garments and clutched his eyes and mouth wildly, 
until great welts and knobs stood out on his head; his eyes puffed and 
goggled, his lips blubbered and puckered; tears and sweat with wet 
blood bedrenched his whole person, and he cast himself headlong and 
rolled in the dust, until coated with the dun earth of that plain. And 
when he staggered to his feet, the red soil adhered to him as skin 
cleaves to flesh, and his ugliness hardened. 

The maiden stared in wild terror at what she had wrought ! And 
now she, too, was filled with anguish and shrieked aloud, tossing her 
arms and rushing hither and thither, and so great was her grief and 
despair that her hair all whitened. Lo ! now she lamented plaintively 
and pitied her brother, for she thought — woman -like! — "But he loved 
me!" So, she tenderly yearned for him now, and ran toward him. 
Again he looked at her, for he was crazed, and when he saw her close 
at hand, so strange looking and ugly, he laughed aloud, and coarsely, 
but anon stood still, with his hands clasped in front of him and his 
head bowed before him, dazed! When he laughed, she too laughed; 
when he was silent and bowed, she cried and besought him. Thus it 


was with them ever after in those days. They talked loudly to each 
other; they laughed or they cried. Now they were like silly children, 
playing on the ground; anon they were wise as the priests and high 
beings, and harangued as parents to children and leaders to people. 

The marks in the mountain and sands sank farther and farther; for 
much the earth shuddered as was wont in those days. And thus the 
mountain was sundered in twain and waters welled up in the midway. 
The furrow in the sands ran deeper and deeper and swifter and swifter 
with gathering water. Into the nether mountain the pair fled — not 
apart — but together, distraught. Ceaselessly echoed their gibberish 
and cries across the wide water and from one mountain side to the 
other. Thenceforth, together they dwelt in the caves of the place they 
had chosen, forgetful of the faces of men and recking naught of their 
own ugly condition ! 


In time there were born to these twaiu, twelve children. Nay, neither 
man-children nor woman- children they ! For look now ! The first, was 
a woman in fulness of contour, but a man in stature and brawn. From 
the mingling of too much seed in one kind, comes the two-fold one kind, 
^Iddhmon, being man and woman combined — even as from a kernel 
of corn with two hearts, ripens an ear that is neither one kind nor the 
other, but both ! Yet not all ill was this first child, because she was born 
of love — what though crazed ! — ere her parents were changed ; thus she 
partook not of their distortions. Not so with her brothers; in sem- 
blance of males, yet like boys, the fruit of sex was not in them ! For the 
fruit of mere lust comes to naught, even as corn, self-sown out of 
season, ripens not. For their parents, being changed to hideousness, 
abode together witlessly and consorted idly or in passion not quick- 
ened of favor to the eye or the heart. And lo ! like to their father 
were his later children, but varied as his moods; for then, as now, what 
the mother looked most on while withholding them, thus wise were they 
formed as clay by the thought of the potter ; wherefore we cherish our 
matrons and reveal not to them the evil dramas neither the slaughtered 
nor hamstrung game lest their children be weakly or go maimed. Thus 
they were strapping louts, but dun-colored and marked with the welts of 
their father. Silly were they, yet wise as the gods and high priests; 
for as simpletons and the crazed speak from the things seen of the 
instant, uttering belike wise words and prophecy, so spake they, and 
became the attendants and fosterers, yet the sages and interpreters, of 
the ancient of dance-dramas or the Ka'ka. 

Named are they, not with the names of men, but with names of mis- 
meaning, for there is Pekwina, Priest-speaker of the Sun. Meditative 
is he, even in the quick of day, after the fashion of his father when 
shamed, saying little save rarely, and then as irrelevantly as the 
veriest child or dotard. 
13 ETH 26 

402 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

Then there is Pi'hlan Shiwani (Bow Priest-warrior). So cowardly 
he that he dodges behind ladders, thinking them trees no doubt, and 
lags after all the others, whenever frightened, even at a fluttering leaf 
or a crippled spider, and looks in every direction but the straight one, 
whenever danger threatens! 

There is Eshotsi (the Bat) who can see better in the sunlight than 
any of them, but would maim himself in a shadow, and will avoid a hole 
in the ground as a woman would a dark place, even were it no bigger 
than a beetle burrow. 

Also there is Muiyapona (Wearer of the Eyelets of Invisibility). He 
has horns like the catfish, and is knobbed like a bludgeon-squash. 
But he never by any chance disappears, even when he hides his head 
behind a ladder rung or turkey quill, yet thinks himself quite out 
of sight. And he sports with his countenance as though it were as 
smooth as a damsel's. 

There is Potsoki (the Pouter), who does little but laugh and look 
bland, for grin he can not; and his younger brother, N^'hlashi (Aged 
Buck), who is the biggest of them all, and what with having grieved 
and nearly rubbed his eyes out (when his younger brother was cap- 
tured and carried off by the BT'y^mak'ya-kwe or Snail Ka'ka of the 
South), looks as ancient as a horned toad; yet he is as frisky as a 
fawn, and giggles like a girl; yea, and bawls as lustily as a small boy 
playing games. 

The next brother, Itseposa (the Glum or Aggrieved), mourned also 
for his nearest brother, who was stolen by the Ka'ka, too, until his eyes 
were dry utterly and his chin chapped to protrusion; but nathless 
he is lively and cheerful and ever as ready indeed as the most complai- 
sant of beings. 

K'ya'lutsi (the Suckling) and Tsa'hlashi (Old-youth), the youngest, 
are the most wilfully important of the nine, always advising others 
and strutting like a young priest in his first dance, or like unto the 
youthful warrior made too aged-thinking and self-notioned with early 

And while the father stands dazed, with his head bowed and his 
hands clasped before him or like to broken bows hanging by his sides, 
these children romp and play (as he and his sister did when turned 
childish), and verily are like to idiots, or to dotards and crones turned 
young again, inconstant as laughter, startled to new thought by every 
flitting thing around them; but, in the presence of the Ka'ka of old, 
they are grave what though so uncouth. And they are the oracles of 
all olden sayings of deep meanings; wherefore they are called the 
Ka'yemashi (Husbandmen of the Ka'ka or sacred drama-dance) ; and 
tljey are spoken of, even by the Fathers of the People, as the A'hlashi 
Ts6washi (Sages of the Ancients). And most precious in the sight of 
the beings and of men are they! But for their birth and the manner 
thereof, it is said that all had been different; for from it many things 

<i>*i"N"l BIRTH OF THE " OLD-ONES." 403 

came to be as they are, alike for men and gods and even the souls of 
the dead ! 


There came a thne when the people for whom Siweluhsiwa and 
Siwiluhsitsa had gone to seek the way, could tarry no longer await- 
ing them ; for, hearing the earth rumble, the Twain Beloved and their 
Warrior-leaders of the Knife summoned the tribes forth to journey again. 
Now in these days the people had grown so vast of number that no 
longer could they journey together; but in great companies they trav- 
eled, like herds of bison severed when too numerous for the grass of a 
single plain. The Bearers of the Ice-wands and the Aucient Brother- 
hood of the Knife led the clans of the Bear, the Crane, the Grouse 
and others of the People of Winter (yea and in small part others too), 
through the northernmost valleys, carrying ever in their midst the 
precious muetone. The Fathers of the People, Keepers of the seed, 
and the Ancient Brotherhood of Priests led the clans of the Macaw 
and other Summer people (and in part others still) through the middle 
valleys, carrying ever in their midst the precious ¥detone. They, 
being deliberate and wise, sought rather in the pathway between the 
northward and the southward for the place of the Middle. 

The Seed-fathers of the Seed-kin, the Keepers of Fire, and the Ancient 
Brotherhood of Paiyatuma (Kewe-kwe) led the All-seed clans, the Sun, 
Badger and other Summer people (not of the Midmost), through the 
southern valleys, carrying ever in their midst the precious chuetone. 

Leading them all, whether through the northern ways, through the 
middle ways, or through the southern ways, now here, now there, were 
the Two Beloved ones, and with them their Warriors of the Knife. 

Now although those who went by the northern way were called the 
Bear and Crane father-people, yet with them went some of all the clans, 
as the Parrot-macaws of the Middle, and the Yellow-corn ones of the 
Southern people. 

And although the People of the Middle way w§re called the Macaw 
father-people, yet with them went Bear and Crane people of the north, 
nevertheless, (a few) and Seed people of the south, also (a few) those 
of the White Corn. 

And although the people of the southern way were called the All-seed 
father-people, yet with them went a few of both the northern and the 
middle ways. And this was well ! That even though any one of these 
bands might hap to be divided through wildness of the way or stress 
of war, they nathless might retain, each of them, the seed of all the 
kin-lines. Moreover, this of itself speedily came to be, through the 
mingling of the clans from one to another in the strands of marriage. 

And although thus apart the peoples journeyed, descending from 
the westward the valleys toward north and toward south, hke gather- 

404 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. Tethaxn. 13 

ing streams from a wide rain-storm, yet also like rain-streams gather- 
ing in some great river or lagoon, so they came together and thus abode 
in seasons of rest. Strong and impetuous, the Bear kindred on the 
one hand were the first to move and farthest to journey; on the other 
hand the Seed kindred led the way; whereas, the heart of them all of 
the Macaw kindred, deliberately (as was their custom) pursued the 
middle course of the Sun-father. 

In such order, then, they came, in time, within sight of the great 
divided mountain of the Ka'yemiishi. Seeing smoke and mist rising 
therefrom, they all, one after another, hastened thither. The Bear 
peoples were first to approach, and great was their dismay when, on 
descending into the plain, they beheld a broad river, flowing, not as 
other waters were wont to flow in that land, from east to west, but 
straight across their pathway, from toward the south, northward. 
And lo ! on the farther side were the mysterious mountains they sought, 
but between them rolled swiftly these wide turbid waters, red with the 
soil of those plains. 



Not for long did the impetuous fathers of the Bear and Crane delib- 
erate. Nay ! Straightway they strode into the stream and feeling forth 
with their feet that it e'en might be forded — for so red were its waters 
that no footing could be seen through them, — they led the way across; 
yet great was their fearfulness withal ; for, full soon, as they watched 
the water moving under their very eyes, strange chills did pervade them, 
as though they were themselves changing in being to creatures mov- 
ing and having being in the waters; even as still may be felt in the 
giddiness which besets those who, in the midst of troubled or passing 
waters, gaze long into them. Nathless, they -w^on their way steadfastly 
to the farther shore. But the poor women who, following closely with 
the little children on their backs, were more dya'tce (tender, suscep- 
tible), became witlessly crazed with these dread fear-feelings of the 
waters, wherefore, the little ones to whom they clung but the more 
closely, being ¥yaiyuna and all unripe, were instantly changed by the 
terror. They turned cold, then colder; they grew scaly, fuller webbed 
and sharp clawed of hands and feet, longer of tail too, as if for swimming 
and guidance in unquiet waters. Lo ! They felt of a sudden to the 
mothers that bore them, as the feel of dead things; and, wriggling, 
scratched their bare shoulders until, shrieking wildly, these mothers let 
go all hold on them and were even fain to shake them off— fleeing from 
them in terror. Thus, multitudes of them fell into the swift waters, 
wailing shrUly and plaintively, as even still it may be said they are 
heard to cry at night time in those lone waters. For, no sooner did 
they fall below the surges than they floated and swam away, still 
crying— changed verily, now, even in bodily form; for, according to 


their several totems, some became like to the lizard (mi¥yaiya'hH), 
chameleon [semaiyak'ya], and newt (tewashi); others like to the frog 
{tdlc^aiyuna), toad (t(i¥ya), and turtle {6tuwa). But their souls 
{top'M'ina, 'other-being or in-being'), what with the sense of falling, 
still falling, sank down through the waters, as water itself, being 
started, sinks down through the sands into the depths below. There, 
under the lagoon of the hollow mountain where it was erstwhile cleft 
in twain by the angry maiden-sister Siwiluhsitsa as before told, dwelt, 
in their seasons, the soul- beings of ancient men of war and violent death. 
There were the towns for the 'finished' or dead, Hdpanawan or the 
Abode of Ghosts; there also, the great pueblo (city) of the Ka'ka, 
Ka"hlue]awan, the town of many towns wherein stood forever the 
great assembly house of ghosts, Ahapadwa Kiwitsinan'hlana, the 
kiva which contains the six great chambers in the midst of which sit, 
at times of gathering in council, the god-priests of all the Ka'ka exer- 
cising the newly dead in the Ka'k'okshi or dance of good, and receiv- 
ing from them the offerings and messages of mortal men to the immortal 

N"ow, when the little ones sank, still sank, seeing naught, the lights 
of the spirit dancers began to break upon them, and they became, as 
be the ancients, 'hlimna, and were numbered with them. And so, 
being received into the midst of the undying ancients, lo! these little 
ones thus made the way of dying and the path of the dead; for 
whither they led, in that olden time, others, fain to seek them (inso- 
much that they died), followed; and yet others followed these; and so 
it has continued to be even unto this day. 

But the mothers, still crying, knew not this — knew not that their 
children had returned unharmed into the world whence even themselves 
had come and whither they too needs now must go, constrained thither 
by the yearnings of their own hearts in the time of mourning. Loudly, 
still, they wailed, on the farther shore of the river. 


The Seed clans arrived, and strove to cross the waters, but as it had 
chanced to the others so befel it all dismally with them, until loud be- 
came the commotion and multitudes of those behind, nearing — even 
many of the Midmost clans — turned and fled afar southward along the 
bank, seeking a better crossing; fled so far that they were lost to 
sight speedily and strayed never to return ! 

Nay, they became the fathers and mothers of our Lost Others — lost 
ever since that time. 


Lo ! as the people were crying aloud and tossing their hands aloft and 
the many — so many ! — were fleeing away, came the Beloved Twain, and 

406 ZUNl CREATION MYTHS. (eth.ann.13 

witli voices strong-sounding and sure, bade them cease from their 
clamor and terror, saying — 

Look now, ye faithless and witless ! 

The mothers who love not their offspring 

And cherish them not throngh all danger, 

Must lose them anon, as the wood'oird, 

Who sits not her nest, doth her broodlings ! 

Fear not, but cleave fast to your children 

Though they strange-turn and frightful of seeming! 

'Tis the magic of water, and wildness 

Of heart, and will pass (as men's laughter 

Doth pass when the joy-thought is sobered), 

As ye win your way forth from the waters. 

Thus spake they, and continued speaking; whereupon the people 
who were yet left, took heart, even the women, and stayed their 
thoughts, clinging stoutly to their little ones as they fared through the 
waters, what though the terror and hurt was sore. Thus passed they 
all safely over, and — even as had been said — as they won their way up 
from the waters and sat them down to rest on the farther shore below 
the mountains, lo! the little ones- grew warm and right again. But 
never were the thoughts of womenkind beguiled wholly from that har- 
rowing journey. Wherefore they be timid of deep places, startled (as is 
the voice of a vessel by any shrillness of sound) and witless-driven by 
the sight of reptile-creatures. Lo ! and so their anxieties are like to 
press themselves on the unripe and forming children of their bowels. 
Wherefore, also, we guard their eyes from all weird-seeming things 
when they be with child. 


!N"ow, when the people were rested and the children righted, they 
arose and jouraeyed into the plain to the east of the two mountains 
and the great water between them. Thence they turned them north- 
ward to the sunrise slopes of the uppermost of the mountains. There 
they encamped, mourning for their lost children and awaiting the 
coming, perchance, of those who had fled away. 


Ataht ! And all this time K'yak'lu, the all-hearing and wise of speech, 
all alone had been journeying afar in the north land of cold and white 
desolateness. Lost was he, for lo! all the world he wandered in now 
was disguised in the snow that lies spread forth there forever. Cold 
was he — so cold that his face became wan, and white from the frozen 
mists of his own breathing withal, white as become all creatures who 
bide there. So cold at night and dreary of heart was he, so lost by 
day and blinded by light was he, that he wept, continually wept and 
cried aloud until the tears coursing down his cheeks stained them 
with falling lines along the wrinkles thereof (as may be seen on his face 

oosHma] THE STRAYING OF K'YAK'lU. 407 

to this day when iu due season he reappears), and he died of heart and 
thence became transformed {i^hUmnakna) lastingly as are the gods. 
Yea, and his lips became splayed with continual calling, and his voice 
grew shrill and dry-sounding, like to the voices of far-flying water- 
fowl. As he cried, wandering all blindly hither and thither, these, 
water-birds, hearing, flocked around him in numbers and curiously 
peered at him, turning their heads from side to side and ever approach- 
ing nearer, all the while calling one to another. 

Behold ! when he heard them calling, their meanings were plain to 
him, wise as he was of all speeches ! Yet still he lamented aloud, for 
none told him the way to his country and people. 


Now, Avhen the Duck heard his cry, lo ! it was so like to her own 
that she came closer by than any, answering loudly. And when they 
were thus come near to each other, much related appeared they, strange 
as that may seem. Forasmuch as he was of all times the listener and 
speaker, and therein wisest of all men, so was she of all regions the 
traveler and searcher, knowing all ways, whether above or below the 
waters, whether in the north, the west, the south, or the east, and 
therein was the most knowing of all creatures. Thus the wisdom {yu- 
yananalc'ya) of the one comprehended [aiyulieto¥ya) the knowledge 
{dnilcwanaTc'ya) of the other, and K'yak'lii in the midst of his lamenta- 
tions besought counsel and guidance, crying — 

Ha-na-ha! ha-na-ha! ahah-lma! 

O, grandmother! AVhere am I straying 

So far from my country and people? 

All speeches I know, of my sitting 

In councils of men and the beings, 

Since first ia the depths they had being! 

But of far ways, alas ! I am kenless ! 

Ha-na-ha! ha-na-ha! a-hah-hua! 

The mountains are white, and the valleys ; 

All plains are like others in whiteness ; 

And even the light of our father 

The Sun, as he rises and passes. 

Makes all ways more hidden of whiteness ! 

For in brightness my eyes see but darkneas — 

And in darkness all ways are bewildered ! 

Ha-na-ha! ha-na-ha! a-hah-hua! 

In the winds, lo ! I hear the directions; 

But the winds speak the ways of all regions. 

Of the north and the west and the southward. 

Of the east and of upward and downward. 

They tell not the way to the Middle! 

They tell not the way to my people ! 

Ha-na-ha! ha-na-ha! a-hah-hua! 

" Hold, my child, my father," said the Duck. "Think no longer sad 
thoughts. Though thou be bhud, yet thou hearest all as I see all. Give 

408 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

me, therefore, tinkling shells from thy girdle and place them on my 
neck and in my beak. Thus may I guide thee with my seeing if so be 
thou by thy hearing grasp and hold firmly my trail. For look, now ! 
Thy country and the way thither well I know, for I go that way each 
year leading the wild goose and the crane, who flee thither as winter 

And so the K'yak'lu placed his talking shells on the neck of the Duck, 
and in her beak placed the singing shells, which ever in his speakings 
and listenings K'yak'iu had been wont to wear at his girdle; and albeit 
pairifully and lamely, yet he did follow the sound she made with these 
shells, perching lightly on his searching outstretched hand, and did all 
too slowly follow her swift flight from place to place wherein she, anon, 
going forth would await him and urge him, ducking her head that the 
shells might call loudly, and dipping her beak that they might summon 
his ears as the hand summons the eyes. By and by they came to the 
country of thick rains and mists on the borders of the Snow World, 
and passed from water to water, until at last, lo ! wider waters lay in 
their way. In vain the Duck called and jingled her shells from over 
the midst of them, K'yakiu could not follow. All maimed was he; 
nor could he swim or fly as could the Duck. 



Now the Eainbow-worm was near, in that land of mists and waters. 
And when he heard the sacred sounds of the shells he listened. "Ha! 
these be my grandchildren, and precious be they, for they call one to 
the other with shells of the great world-encircling waters," said he; 
and so, with, one measure of his length, he placed himself Jiigh them, 
Why mourn ye grandchildren, why mourn ye? 

Give me plumes of the spaces, grandchildren. 

That related I he to the regions, 

That uplifted I be to the cloud-heights. 

That my footsteps be countries and countries ; 

So I hear ye full swift on my shoulders 

To the place of thy people and country. 

K'yak'iu took of his plume-wands the lightest and choicest; and the 
Duck gave to him her two strong pinion-feathers that he might pendant 
them therewith, making them far reaching and far-seeing. And the 
Eainbow arched himself and stooped nigh to them whilst K'yak'iu, 
breathing on the plumes, approached him and fastened them to his 
heart side. And while with bent head, all white and glistening wet, 
K'yak'iu said the sacred words, not turning to one side nor to the 
other, behold! the Eainbow shadow gleamed full brightly on his fore- 
head like a little rainbow, (even as the great sky itself gleams little 
in a tiny dew-drop) and became painted thereon, and i'^hUmna. 


" Thanks this day ! " said the Eainbow. " Mount, now, on my shoul- 
ders, grandson ! " 

The Kainbovf unbent himself lower that K'yak'lu might mount; then 
he arched himself high amidst the clouds, bearing K'yak'lu uijward as 
in the breath a mote is borne, and the Duck spread her wings in flight 
toward the south. Thitherward, like an arrow, the Eainbow-worm 
straightened himself forward and followed until his face looked into 
the Lake of the Ancients, the mists whereof were to him breath and 

And there in the plain to the north of Ka"hluelane, K'yak'lu 
descended even ere the sun was fully entered, and while yet it was 
light, the Eainbow betook himself swiftly back. 

But alas! K'yak'hi was weary and lame. He could not journey 
farther, but sat himself down to rest and ponder the way. 


Now, as he sat there, all silent, came across the plains the shouts 
and harangues of the Ka'yemashi as they called loudly to one another, 
telling, like children, of the people who had but then forded the wide 
river, and passed on to the eastward "with such great ado," said they. 

For the children of the Twain knew not yet the people of their parents, 
nor did their parents tell them aught, save to bid them hide in the 
mountains; for they willed not that their shame be made known 
whilst the hearts of their erstwhile peojole were so sore with anguish. 

And as K'yiik'lu, the wonderful hearer, lifted his head and signed to 
the Duck, forthwith knowing from the talk of the Ka'yemashi who 
they were and what had chanced to their parents, his own brother and 
sister, and all the evils that had befallen his people by the sin and 
change-makings of these two. Lo ! the strength of his heart wasted as 
he bowed him down again in the plain, alone, blinded of sight, wearied 
and lamed, and now from very sadness blinded even of thought withal, 
now that he learned of the woes whicli the two, his own brother and 
sister, had wrought upon all of the people. The Duck, long waiting, at 
last shook her shells and called to him. He heard not, or hearing gave 
no heed, but sat, like one bereft of all thinking, lamenting the deeds 
of his brother and sister and the woes of his people. 



The Duck thereupon fled away toward the mountain whence issued 
the garrulous talking, and thence beyond, spying water, to the lake in 
its hollow. There she swam to and fro, this way and that, up and down, 
loudly quacking and calling. Lo! the lights of the Kiwitsin of the 
Ka'ka began to gleam in the waters, and as she gazed she beheld, rising 
from them, snout foremost, like one of her own kind, the S41amopia 
of the north, whom the gods of the Ka'ka, the noble and surpassing 

410 ZUNI CKEATION MYTHS. [eth.ann, 13 

Pdutiwa and tlie ancient K'y^u'hliwa, had dispatclied to bid the Duck 
dive down and lay before them whatsoever message she might bear. 
The Duck followed down, down, into the great assembly halls. There 
she told of the far journeys she had made, of her finding and leading 
the K'yak'lu, and how now K'yak'lu sat blind of eyes, maimed and 
hearing naught of her calling, in the plain beyond the mountains. 


" Tea, him know we well ! " replied the gods. " Of our sacred breath 
breathed his father and his mother when days were new and of us 
shall be numbered they, when time is full. Lo! therefore because 
changed violently of his grief and sore hardships whilst yet but 
hyaiyuna, he hath become ^hlimna, and yet unchanging, since fin- 
ished so; yea, and unceasing, as one of ourselves, thus shall he remain. 
True also is this, of his brother and sister who dwell with their 
uncouth offspring in the mountain hard by. Go upward, now, and 
with thy tinkling shells entice these children to the lake shore. 
Loudly will they talk of the marvel as in their wilder moments they 
ever talk of anything new to hap. And they will give no peace to the 
old ones until these come down also to see thee ! Thou wearest the 
sacred shells and strands of K'yak'lu wherewith he was ever wont to 
count his talks in other days when days were new to men. When 
these they see, lo ! instant grave will become they and listen to thy 
words, for they will know the things they watched him wear and 
coveted when they were still little, all in the days that were new to 
men. Bid them make forthwith of poles and reeds, a litter, and bear it 
away, the father of them all with his children (nay not the sister- 
mother, to sore hurt the love of a brother eldest for a sister youngest, 
wherefore so pitiably he mourneth even now) to where, in the far 
plain, K'yak'lu sits so mourning. Bid them greet him, and bring him 
hence. They may not enter, but they may point the way and tell him 
how, fearlessly, to win into our presence, for as one even of ourselves 
is he become ; yea, and they also, save that they stayed themselves for 
the ages, midway betwixt the living and the dead, by their own rash 
acts did they stay themselves so, wherefore it is become their ofQce to 
point the way of the again living to the newly dead, for aye. Tell 
the grandchild, thy father withal, K'yak'lu, to mourn not any longer, 
neither tarry, but to get him straightway hither, that he may learn from 
us of his people of the meanings of past times, and of how it shall be 
in times to come." 


Even so did the Duck, as bidden, even so did the Ka'yemashi, one 
and all, as it had been said they would do as the Duck bade them, and 


ere the morning came, they with a litter went, singing a quaint and 
pleasant song, adown the northern plain, bearing their litter. And 
when they found the K'yak'lu, lo ! he looked upon them in the star- 
light and wept; but their father, he who had been the glorious Siwe- 
luhsiwa, Ms youngest brother, stood over him and chanted the sooth- 
ing yet sad dirge-rite, and he, too, wept and bowed his head; but 
presently he lifted his face and, as a gleeful child, his children joining, 
cajoled the silent K'yak'lu to sit him down in the great soft litter they 
did bear for him. 



Then lifting it on their shoulders, they bore it lightly, singing loudly 
as they went, to the shores of the deep black lake, where gleamedfrom 
the middle the lights of the dead. 

Uprose at this point, the Sdlamopia T^m'hlanahna or of all the 
six regions, led by the leader of them all and taking K'yak'lu on their 
shoulders, they in turn bore him out over the water to the magic lad- 
der of rushes and canes which reared itself high out of the water; 
and K'yak'lu, scattering sacred prayer-meal before him, stepped 
down the way, slowly, like a blind man, descending a skyhole. No 
sooner had he taken four steps than the ladder lowered into the deep; 
and lo ! his light was instant darkened. 

But when the S41amopia of the regions entered the central sit- 
ting place of the Ka'ka with K'yak'lu, Shulawitsi lifted his brand on 
high and swinging it, lighted the fires anew, so that K'yak'lu saw 
again with fulnesfi of sight and so that 'they shone on all the gods 
and soul-beings therein assembled, revealing them. Yea, and through 
the windows and doorways of all the six chambers encircling, and at 
each portal, the S^lamopia of the region it pertained and led unto 
took his station. And Piiutiwa, and his warriors the bluehorned 
Saia'hliawe, and the tall Sh4alako-kwe, yea, and all the god-priests 
of the regions six, those who are told of without omission in the speech 
of K'yak'lu and in other speeches of our ancient talk, bade K'yak'lu 
welcome, saying, "Comest thou, son?" "Tea," he replied. "Verily 
then," said P^utiwa — 

Sit tliee down with us, 

Tliat of much we may tell thee, 

For far thou hast wandered 

And changed art become. 

As a woman with children 

Is loved for her power 

Of keeping unbroken 

The life-line of kinsfolk, 

So shalt thou, tireless hearer, 

Of all sounds with meaning, 

Be cherished amongst us 

412 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

And worshipped of mortals 
For keeping unbroken 
The Tale of Creation, 
Yea, all we shall tell thee 
Of past days and future. 

So said Pdutiwa, cloud-sender and sun-priest of souls, and his 
brothers younger of the regions all, joined in so saying. 

Then K'yak'lu sat him down and bowed his head, and calling to the 
Duck, who had guided him, stretched forth his hand and upon it she 
settled, as upon a wave-crest or a wood bough. 


The gods sent forth their runners, the S^lamopia and the timid, 
fleet-footed H6hea, to summon all beings, and then, gathering them- 
selves in a sacred song-circle, called in from the several chambers dancers 
in semblance of the Ka'kokshi, or Dance of Good. And with these 
came, behold ! the little ones who had sunk beneath the waters, well and 
beautiful and all seeming wonderfully clad ia cotton mantles and pre- 
cious neck jewels. And these played, sad only with the sadness of their 
mothers, but resting therefrom when in dreams, above, these rested. 

And when the dancers paused, the gods turned to K'yak'lu and said : 
"Lo ! we begin, given thou be ready." 

And K'yak'lu said : " It is well ; I am ready ; yea, even my heart listen- 
eth," and iu cadence to their speech following, he moved the Duck with 
her tinkling, talking shells, as a master of song moves his baton, or a 
dancer his rattle, and in solemn, ceaseless tone, as in singing yet with 
speech more steady, the gods, one by one, told to K'yak'lu the things 
each best knew, whereof he so wondrously speaks when come amongst 
us for the welfare of our little children, bringing them the sacred breath 
of the Ka'ka itself, and to their elders these same speeches of the gods. 

When, after long time, they had done, they further charged him 
with a message of comfort to the mourning mothers, and with com- 
mandments and instructions to men and the beings. 

Then they brought forth the sacred cigarette, and the master priest- 
gods smoked in relationship with K'yak'lu to all the six regions, and, 
rising, he was led in turn to the portal of each chamber, first to the 
northern, then to the western, southern, eastern, upper, and lower, and 
he placed his fingers on the sill of each, thr t in aftertimes he should 
know, though but dim of sight, or in the dark, the places of worship 
(which men built then but poorly) from others, and in such alone, and 
to chosen few who hold the rites of the Ka'ka, should therein tell and 
do the customs and words of the gods and tell of other such like pre- 
cious ancient things. 

Then the Sd'lamopia lifted the ladder and guided upward K'yak'lu 
and the Duck, showing them safely to the shore of the lake. When 


the old ones (Ka'yemashi) heard the shells of the Duck tinkling, forth 
they came, bringing their litter and singing boisterously, for much they 
loved K'yiik'lu as the light of the rising sun fell upon him, as a raveu 
loves bright shells or chips of glistening stone. 


And when they had come to the side of K'yiik'lu, instant they became 
grave, for he bade them hearken to the words of the gods, and their 

"Ye shall attend me, for know tliat ye are to be the. guardians of the 
Ka'ka and tellers of its meanings, and givers of enjoyment to the 
children of men, even as ye gave the enjoyment of comfort unto me, 
when ye sought me in the j)lain of my sorrows. Ye shall bear me to 
the people yonder, for I have tidings for them, and instructions the 
to which ye shall bear witness in aftertimes when I am not by. Ye 
shall cherish the Ka'ka : yea, and all other precious customs, for there- 
unto as unto life mortal, yet unceasing, became fitted thy father, my 
brother younger ; and thereunto were ye born, ye and thy sister elder, 
man-woman of the Ka'ka, as unto the councils thereof am I become 
slave yet master. But my sister, thy mother, shall abide by the place 
she hath made, maintaining it, as woman ever maintaineth the hearth 
she hath made, all the days of men." 


This said K'yiik'lu as he sat him down on the litter, and obediently 
the Ka'yemiishi lifted it upon their shoulders and bore it away, along 
the trail eastward, down which westward we go after death and fulfil- 
ment. And as they journeyed through the plain, calling loudly to one 
another, the little people of the Marmot villages ran out and stood up, 
looking at them and calling to one another, which so amused and 
pleased the Ka'yemashi that they became proud of their master and 
uncle, K'yak'lu, and sang all the way thereafter of the audience they 
had at every prairie-dog village, of Marmot youths and Marmot maidens ; 
and thus they were singing gleefully as they neared the camp of the 
people, insomuch that none were frightened, but all wondered who were 
those pleasant, strange people coming, and what one of precious con- 
sideration guided of the far-journeying Duck they were bearing aloft 
on their litter. Thus, ever since, they sing, as they bring in K'yak'lu 
from the western plain, along the river-trail of the dead, and thus 
happily and expectantly we await their coming, our little ones wonder- 
ingly as did the first men of those days. 



Speedily the fathers of the people recognized their lost K'yak'lu (led 
and prompted as they were of the Twain), and preciously they housed 

414 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.akn. 13 

him, as we preciously and secretly receive with the cigarette of rela- 
tionship a returning relative, and purify him and ourselves ere he 
speak, that he may not bring evil or we receive it, perchance, with the 
breath of his strange words. 

Thus the fathers of the people did to K'yak'lu and the ancient ones, 
receiving them into secret council. And as one who returns famished 
is not given to eat save sparingly at first of the flour of drink 
{6¥yuslu), so with this only was K'yak'lu regaled; but his bearers 
were laden speedily with gifts of food and garments which, forsooth, 
they would not wear save in disorderly ways. Then K'yak'lu spake 
a message of comfort to the mourners, telling them how, below the waters 
into which their little ones had sunken, t-ii^ were dwelling in peace 
amongst the gods, and how all men and mothers would follow them 
thither in other part in the fulness of each one's time. 

And then, holding iu his hand the Duck, the guide to his blindness, 
he spake in measured motion and tone, to the sound of the shells on 
the neck of the Duck, the words of creation, K'ydk'lv, Mdsonan Ghim'- 
mi¥yana1c'"ya pSnane, and of his wanderings, and the speeches of gods 
and beings as they had been told him, and the directions of the sacred 
customs, all did he tell ceaselessly as is still his wont from mid-day to 
mid-day to each one of the six councils, that no part be forgotten. 

Thus did our people first learn of their lost messengers, all save two 
of them, Anahoho dchi, and of their lost children in the City of 
Ghosts; yea, of the spirit beings and man, animal, and of the souls of 
ancient men dead beforetime; yea, and yet more learned they — that all 
would gather there even those who had fled away in fear of the waters, 
in the fulness of time. 


And when K'yak'lu had done speaking, he and the ancient ones 
breathed into the nostrils of those who had listened, and into the mouths 
of four chosen from amongst them (small of stature like as he was) he 
spat, that their tongues might speak unfailingly the words he had 
uttered. And these became the K'yak'lu Amosi, whose ofllce we still 
keep amongst us. Then the ancient ones lifted him upon the litter, and 
loudly joking about their gifts and bidding men call them ever with the 
Ka'ka that they might receive more Mha, they sang of how the young 
women and maidens would wait for them as for lovers, bringing them 
the water of guests to drink, and amid laughter they bore K'yak'lu back 
whence they had come, to the mountain and city of the Ka'ka (Ka'- 
'hluai ydlane). 



Now, when they had departed, there came from the west, behold ! two 
strangers seeming, guided by the Salamopia, and all the fleet runners 


of the Ka'ka then first seen of men and feared as by children now, for 
they were fierce and scourged people from their pathways to make room 
for those they guided. For know that these were the two brothers Ana- 
hoho who had returned to the desolate cities of their people. Therein 
had they sought in vain for the living in the blackened houses. They 
even tore down the chimneys and peered in, seeking for their brother 
K'yak'lu, and when they found him not they smote their faces and held 
their noses in grief, and all black as were their hands with soot, lo ! thus 
became their faces, flat and masked with the black hand-mark of dis- 
may, and as they held their faces they cried dismally and long. 



No sooner did they come into the village of our fathers than they 
began turning over the things from which the people had fled, and cast- 
ing them down where the S^lamopia stamped them into the earth or 
otherwise destrdyed them that their likes might go the way of the dead 
for the dead and the Ka'ka. And when the people saw this, they brought 
forth vessels and baskets aud other things without stint, all of which, 
as though all were chimneys, the Twain Anahoho took up, and peer- 
ing into them lifted their faces and cried their dreary mournful cry, 
casting these things straightway to the ground. Thus to this day they 
follow their brother, seeking ever, finding never, sending after their 
brother the souls of men's possessions that all may be well in the after 
time, in the after time of each age of man. 


Long sojourned the people in the town on the sunrise slope of the 
mountain of K;i"hluelawan, aud what though the earth in time 
began to groan warniugly anew, loath were they to leave the place of the 
Ka'ka and the lake of their dead. But the rumbling grew louder 
apace, and at last the Twain Beloved called, and bade the people arise, 
and all together — now that their multitudes were in part diminished — 
follow them eastward, seeking once more the place of the Middle. Not 
without murmuring among themselves did the people obey; but after 
they had fared forward a certain distance they came to a place of fair 
seeming and great promise, so much so, indeed, that it was said, "Let 
us tarry in this favored spot, for perchance it may be the place of the 


And so they builded for themselves there greater houses than ever 
they had builded, and more perfect withal, for they were still great 
and strong in numbers and wittier than of old, albeit yet unperfected 
as men; and the place wherein they so builded was Hdn'hlipigk'ya, 
" The Place of Sacred Stealing, " so named in after time for reasons we 
wot of. 

41fi ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

Long did the people abide therein, prosperously; but with waxing 
ever wiser and stronger their condition changed, so that little suited to 
it — with their tails and beast clothing — were our wonderful, magical, 
yet rude, ugly fathers. Being beast-like, they were sore inconven- 
ienced both at home and abroad, in the chase or at war; for now and 
again they still in their wanderings met older nations of men and man- 
beings, with whom they needs must strive, so they thought, forsooth, 
thereby gaining naught save great danger with increase of anger and 
stubbornness. Thus, not any longer in fear only of the gods and great 
monsters, but in fear now of the wars they themselves provoked, con- 
tending the world with their own kind and with man-beings, changed 
yet otherwise were they. Of the elders of all their folk-kins the gods 
therefore called a council. 



" Changed, verily and yet more changed shall ye be, oh our chil- 
dren !" cried the Twain gods in such fashion and voice that none failed 
of heeding in all that great council : 

Men now, shall ye be, 

Like the men of first nations, 

Lil£ethe perfect Corn Maidens; 

Walking straight in the pathways 

And full in the sunlight; 

Clothed in garments, and tailless 

(That ye straight sit in council 

And stand the more seemly). 

And your feet shall be webless. 

And hands void of talons. 

Yet full-furnisbed, for figbting. 

Then ranged were the clans 

In processions like dancers; 
First, the fronts of their faces 

Were shorn of their forelocks 
By the Twain with their weapons, 

And fires of the lightning, 
That the Sun on his journeys 

Might know them, his children, 
And warn them of shame. 

Again in processions. 
Their talons were severed 

And webbed fingers slitted; 
And again in processions 

Their webbed toes were parted 
With the knives of the lightnings. 

Then sore was the wounding 
And loud cried the foolish; 

But the Gode bade them "bear it" 
That they and their children 
" Be fitter as men.'' 

cvsaxsa] THE UNTAILING OF MKN. 417 

When lastly the people 

Were ranged in procession 
And their tails were razed sharply, 

There were many who cried 
(Little heeding the foremost 

Who recited now, no longer 
The pain they had suffered), 

And these, iu their folly. 
Shrinking farther and farther 

Fled away, in their terror. 
Crazed, and chattering loudly, 

Climbing trees and high places, 
And bereft of their senses 

Wandered far (seeking safety. 
Sleeping ever iu tree-tops) 

To the south Summer-country. 
Seen again by far walkers — 

" Long of tail and long handed 
Like wizened man-children, 

Wild, and noisy of mouthing, 
Their kind still abide there, 

Eating raw things like creatures — " 
Say the words of the ancients. 

" Thus wise fared it ever 
With those who feared greatly 

The words of the fathers. 
Yet feared not their warnings ! " 

Say the words of the ancients. 

Thereafter more and more goodly of favor became the people, for 
they dwelt long in H^n'hlipiijk'ya, where, lo ! that this might be so, 
their useless parts had in sacred theft been stolen, as it were, from 
them, and they gained great strength, and in the fulness thereof they 
sought more often than ever to war with all strangers (whereby they 
became still more changed in spirit), the which the Two Beloved 
watched amain, nor said they aught! 

But there came a day when the people grew vain and waxed inso- 
lent, saying, "Look now, we are perfect of parts and surely have 
attained to the Middle place or unto one equal thereunto. Go to, let 
us build greatly and lay up store, nor wearily wander again even 
though the earth tremble and the Twain bid us forth. Think ye we 
shall not be strong and defy even the Fearful?" cried the Men of the 
Knife, the stout warriors of the Twain. But what of all that? This! 
Even whilst they were wont to speak in this brave fashion the moun- 
tains trembled often, and although afar sounding, much did it abate 
these boastings ! 


Well aware of this temper of the people, changed also in spirit 
became the Twain Beloved. "Verily a time hath come," said they, 
"and this is the time." Forthwith they called the fathers to council 
13 ETH 27 

418 ZUNI CEEATION MYTHS. [eth.axn.i3 

again, as many of them as there were of the Midmost and of all the 
folk kins, they and the Men of the Knife — brave of mouth yet weak of 
danger — called they together, and thus spake unto them : 

Lo ! long liave ye dwelt here 

At rest from far journeys. 

Sooth ! ye stronger have waxed, 

And like cubs of the puma 

Grown lusty, seek living 

Apart from yonr fathers! 

Ye have changed, O, ye children ! 

Ye have changed heen, to men! 

Whilst far from the Middle, 

The world's stable Middle, 

Still ye boast to have found it, 

And ye think upon warfare I 

Nay, proven ye shall he 

And it shall be tested! 

Thus far have we led ye 

In peace, and with counsel 

Of wisdom controlled ye. 

But we too have changed been, 

By wounding our children 

AVith weapons of magic. 

Thus, of blood we have tasted the hunger. 

Henceforth by the power of war, 

And the hazard of omens and chance, 

Shall we open the ways for our people 

And guide them in search of the Middle! 

And our names shall be kuowu as the Twain 

Who liold the high places of earth — 

Ahaiyuta, the elder and main ; 

MStsailema, the j'ounger of birth. 

Come forth, ye War-men of the Knife, 

Carve plume-wands of death and the spaces, 

Bring out the great drum of the regions ! 

Come forth, master-priest of the north. 

Thou first iu the kin of the Bear, 

Bring out the seed stuff of the hail-tempests ! 

Come forth, master-jiriest of the west, 

Thou first in the kin of Coyotes, 

Bring out the seed stuff of beast-slaying! 

Come forth, master-priest of the south, 

Thou first in the kin of the Badger, 

Bring out the shell trumpets of tire ! 

Come forth, master-priest of the east. 

Thou first in the kin of the Turkey, 

Bring out the great crystal of light. 

(^ome forth, master-priest of the high, 

Thou lirst in the kin of the Eagle, 

Lay before us the streaked stone of lightning! 

Come forth, master-priest of below. 

Thou first in the kin of the Serpent, 

Lay out the black stone of earth thunder. 

Sit aloof, 0, ye priests of the Middle, 

Ye first in the kin of All People, 


Watch well o'er your seed-things and children ! 
Speak wisely to these our new children ; 
Henceforth they shall be your first speakers, 
And the peace-making shields of your people, 
Through wasting the blood of all foemeu 
And feeding the soil with its substance ! 
.Thus much. 

Then the Twain gave directions: 

They named the eight days for preparing. 

The people returned to their houses. 
The priests to their fastings and labors, 

The Twain to their high mountain-places. 
And when the eight days had been counted 

And all had been done as commanded, 
Around the deep pool in the valley, 

That leads from the walled Hin'hlipiqk'ya 
The sacred seed-contents were gathered. 

And fjfll in their midst the great drum jar 
Was placed by the summoned clan-father.s. 

Then each took his place in the circle. 
And the Twain Gods still further instructed 

The kin-priests, and knife-bearing warriors. 
Soft they chanted the sacred song-measure. 

The magic and dread Shdmit^k'ya, 
And whispered the seven fell names ! 

Then they painted the round mark of thunder 
And the wavering trail of the lightning 

Around the great drum, in the middle, 
And on the hooped drum-stick of thunder. 

And over the drum-head, with prayer-dust 
They marked out the cross of the quarters. 

As on the cloud-shield they had leveled 
Fire-bolts to the four earthly regions. 

With black of shell-corpse-scales that glitters. 
They painted the eyes of the leaders ; 

With blood of their own tinged their cheeks; 
With pollen of sleep sealed their lips. 

With blood of their own thus they painted 
The cheeks of the warriors assembled ; 

With black of shell-corpse-scales that glimmers 
They shaded their eyelids and eyebrows. 

That their lives might endure through the trial 
And their eyes not be blighted by lightning. 

And the nostrils of each they did breathe in, 
That their oavu wind might mingle with man- wind. 

Give power to men's voices in battle 
And strengthen men's wills with endurance. 

Then said they to the drummer and singers : 

"Lo, now! Ye shall sing our dread song-line. 

Like beetles that fall in hot ashes 

Ye shall perish, ye singers and drummer. 

But lo ! in the lightnings and wind-storms 

Your beings shall join the beloved. 

Your breaths, too, shall strengthen the warrior 

420 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

And give power to the voice of the warrior, 

Bringing peace to the Seed-priests and women. 

And ye shall be foremost forever 

Of our Chosen, the Priests of the Bow. 

Lo ! The people shall see that we dread not 

The coming of fire-blasts and thunder 

With our name-fathers, fiercer than any — 

The Storm gods of all the six regions : 

Hii'hl'tunk'ya, Wind God of the North ; 

tJ-heponolo, Wind of the West; 

Oloma, Wiud God of the South; 

Tsailiihtsanok'ya — of the East; 

Saushuluma, Wind from Above; 

Saishiwaui, Blast from Below; 

Uafihsiute, Whirlwind of All! 

By their breaths and fell power 

We shall changed be, in being ; 

Made black and mis-shapen ; 

Made stronger with fierceness; 

Made swifter with hurling; 

Made crafty with turning ; 

Plunged deep in the waters. 

And renewed of their vigor; 

Clad anew with their foam-dress! 

Yea, the power of the weapons 

The Sun-father gave us 

And the Foaiu-mother made us, 

That ye be led upward. 

Shall multiplied be 

In the means of destruction 

For the hands of our children, 

Ye Priests of the Bow, 

That men be kept living! 

But to rock, age-enduring. 

Grouped in soog for our chosen, 

O, drummer and siugers! 

Ye shall changed be forever ! 

The foot-rests of eagles 

And signs of our order! " 

The fathers in thought bowed their faces, 

And secretly prayed, in their hearts. 
The people who watched them, held breath. 

And covered their mouths with their robes. 
In dread of tlie powers of magic 

And in woe for the doom of their fathers. 
The gods, to the right and the left 

Took their stand by the side of the waters, 
As erst they had stood by the cloud-shield. 

Their weapons of magic between them. 
The plumes of the warriors placed duly 

In lines, to the eastward before them ; 
The warriors made ready for travel, 

Apart from, but circling around them. 
Then the Twain gave the word of beginning! 

The master of words raised his song-staff. 


On itB shoulder the plume-waud of luan-folk ; 

The drum-master lifted his sound-hoop, 
In its circle the symhol of thunder, 

On its handle, the red sign of lightning; 
Six times did they lift up in silence 

The soug-staff and hoop of the drum, 
Then struck, with the might of their sinews. 

The sound shook the valley with thunder 
And above and below echoed thunder; 

The meal on the drum-head was lifted 
And danced as a rain-cloud around them. 

Then the water below moved and bubbled, 
And mists like a cold breath ascended ; 

As wind in a vase the song sounded; 
Black cloud-steps rose up from the quarters 

And darkened the day with their shadows. 
When the first name was named by the singers. 

The world rocked with earthquake and thunder 
And the roar of swift storms in the northland. 

Hii'hJ'tunk'ya, with dire eyes and staring — 
Gleaming yellow as firelight in winter — 

And teeth with rage gnashing, and yellow 
As shucks of the corn-plant grown aged — 

Tumbled down from the north with his hail-balls, 
And, mingling with mud the deep water, 

In a voice like the sound of a torrent, 
Bellowed loud to the Twain and the singers: 

"Why call ye, small worms of the waters 
And spawn of the earth and four quarters. 
Ye disturbers of thought, lacking shamo ; 
Why call ye the words of my name?" 
"Thy feet stay with patience, grandfather; 
We are small, but we joy in thy fury. 
Whence we yearn for thy counsel and spirit; 
For we long to smite foes from the pathways 
As thou canst the trees from the highlands." 
"Being so, it is well," said the ancient. 

Lo ! the seed-stuff of hail, bound with treasure. 
Gleamed with ice from the breath of his answer. 

When they named the next name of the song strand, 

tnieponolo rolled from the westland 
In sand-blasts and dust-clouds like mountains. 

And stayed fast their feet with his driftiugs; 
And [etc.]. 

When they named the third name of the song strand, 
Oloma swirled up from the southland 

Like a fire draught, and crackled the pool-rim ; 
And [etc.]. 

When they named the fourth name of the song strand, 
Tsailuh'isanok'ya shrieking shrilly. 

Shot the mountains and valleys with dawn-frost ; 
And [etc.]. 

When they named the fifth name of the song strand, 
SaushdUma streamed from the zenith, 

422 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.axn.13 

And deluged the vale ■witli swift -water; 
And [etc.]. 

When they named the sixth name of the song strand, 
Saisliiwani ripped the earth open ; 

Ghosts, corpses, and demons of blackness 
Writhed forth in hot flames from the chasm, 

And hurled the gods into the water! 
Black smoke rose and strangled the people, 

Who fell, like the stricken of lightning! 
It stiffened the drummer and singers 

Whose song ceased to sound, when, all weakly, 
They named the last name of the song strand — 

Nor moved, when replied t'nahsintc, 
Whirling in (twisting trees as the spinner 

Twists fiber of yucca), and rescued 
The Twain from the hot, surging waters, 

Dried the foam in their hair to war-bonnets, 
Caught his brothers the Wind Gods in order 

And hurled them, each one to his mountain 
(In the north, in the west, and the southward; 

In the east, and the upper, and under) ; 
And rising, uplifted the smoke-clouds. 

Lo ! the world was alight with the sunshine. 
And bending above was the Rainbow ! 

But the drummer and singers were sitting, 

Lifted up by the power of the ancients ; 
Close enwrapped in the dust swept around them, 

Made stark by the roar of the death-sounds. 
Fixed in death by the shock of the lightnings. 

Burned hard by the frost-mingled fire-draughts; 
Still sat they, their drum in the middle. 

As they sit evermore, in that valley. 

Lo! dwarfed and hideous-disguised were the two gods Ahaiyuta 
and M4tsailema, erst Uanamachi Piahkoa or the Beloved Twain, who 
Descended — strong now with the full strength of evil; and armed 
as warriors of old, with long bows and black stone-tipped arrows of 
cane- wood in quivers of long-tailed skins of catamounts; whizzing 
slings, and death-singing slung-stones in fiber-pockets; spears with 
dart dealing fling-slats, and blood-drinking broad-knives of gray stone 
in fore-pouches of fur-skin ; short face-pulping war-clubs stuck aslant 
in their girdles, and on their backs targets of cotton close plaited with 
yucca. Yea, and on their trunks, were casings of scorched rawhide 
horn-like in hardness, and on their heads wore they helmets of strength 
like to the thick neck-hide of male elks, whereof they were fashioned. 

Small were they Twain, 

Small and misshapen ; 
Strong were they Twain, 

Strong and hard favored ; 
Enduringly thoughtful were they Twain, 

Enduring of will ; 
Unyieldingly thoughtful were they Twain, 

Unyielding of will: 


Swiftly thoughtful were they Twain, 

Swift of wile; 
Heartless miuded were they Twain, 

Wrathful of heart ; 
Strong were they of spirit. 

Strong were they of hreath. 
Evil were they and bad, 

Evil, both, and bad. 

Lo! iind of Chance and Fate were they the Masters of fore deeming^ 
for they carried the word-painted arrows of destiny {sholiivedtmnajm), 
like the regions of men, four in number. And they carried the shut- 
tle-cocks of divination (hdpochiwe), like the regions of men, four in 
mimber. And they carried the tubes of hidden things {iyanlcoloto- 
mawe), like the regions of men, four in number. And the revealing- 
balls thereof, (iyankolote tsemalc'ya nwliwe), like the regions of men, 
four in number. Yea, and they bore with these other things — the 
feather-bow and plume-arrow of far-finding, tipped with the shell of 
heart-searching; and the race-sticks of swift journeys and way-winning 
[motiJcicawe) two- of them, the riyht and the left, the jjursuer and 
the pursued of men in contention. All of these things wherewith to 
divine men's chance, and play games of hazard, wagering the fate of 
whole nations in mere pastime, had they with them. 

Twain Children of terror and magic were they, and when they called 
with the voice of destruction the smitten warriors of these Twain Chil- 
dren stirred and uprose, breathing battle-cries as echoes answer cries 
in deep canyons, and swiftly they roused those who still lived, of the 
deep-slumbering people. 

Some, like the drummer and singers, had stiffened been, to stone; 
nor heard they the shrill death-cries than which in the night time 
naught is more dread-thrilling. Kay, years come and go, and sitting 
or lying where stricken the hunter sees them still. But others had 
endured in flesh and they were awakened. Then the priests led them 
back to rebuild their wrecked houses, and the GVain again assembling 
their warriors, said to them — 

Know ye our chosen : 

Lo ! not long shall we tarry ; 

Prepare as for journeys; 

Season wood for thy bow-strings 

And face-breaking war-clubs; 

Plait shields like to our shields, 

And fashion strong garments — 

For in such hard ajiparel 

Shall consist thy adornment; 

Attend to our teaching 

At night, in close places. 

For in such shall consist 

Thy strength of straight thinking 

In all tangled places ! 

Night after night the war-drum sounded, deep in the caves of the 
valley, and with it the tones of the words — all potent — forbidden and 

424 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [bth.ann.13 

secret which the Twaiu gods were teaching unto the first Priests of 
the Bow. 



Thus wise were the Priests of the Bow established by teaching of the 
Twain, whose breaths of destruction each one of them breathed in due 
part; whom none might gainsay; nay, not even the fathers whose 
speakers they were, and with whom none might contend; nay, not even 
sorcerers, whose scourgers they were— nor yet the Fearful! 

And so, when on a dark night thereafter the world groaned and the 
shells sounded warning, all together the Twain and these their new 
warriors sought the priest-fathers of the people, bidding them take in 
hand for carrying, their tabernacles of precious possessions. And 
swiftly and sternly too they wakened all sleepers, old ones and young, 
and those who obeyed them were gathered in clan-lines and led off to 
safety, for Ahaiynta, the elder, and his warriors journeyed before 
them, and Matsailema, the younger, and his warriors followed behind — 
shields of the people, makers and destroyers of pathways! But those 
who loved sleeping or who murmured like children were left to their evil ; 
they were choked by the black fumes, or buried in the walls of their 
houses, which fell when presently the earth heaved with dire fumes, fire 
and thunder. Their bones are still digged by the gopher and marmot. 

Thus, from country to country journeyed the people, their fathers 
the priests and the keepers of the mysteries, with the women and 
children in their midst, while before them, from valley to '. alley, the 
Bow-priests swept danger away. 


At last the people neared, in the midst of plains to the eastward, 
great towns built in the heights (heshotaydlawa). But in these times the 
thoughts of their warriors were always those of the eagle or mountain- 
lion or other fierce creatures of prey. Of those they met it was "Lo, 
now ! If I can but seize him and utterly overthrow him and eat of his 
substance, feeding therewith also my kind ! " Thus, only, thought they. 

Great were the fields and possessions of this people, for they knew how 
to command and carry the waters, bringing new soil; *and this too with- 
out hail or rain. So, our ancients, hungry with long wandering for new 
food , were the more greedy, and gave them battle, l^o w as these people 
of the highlands and clifit's were of the elder nations of men and were 
allied to the Akaka-kwe' (the Man-soul Dance-gods) themselves, these 
our people, ere they had done, were well nigh finished of fighting. For 
it was here that the K'ydkweina Ck'yatsiki, or Ancient Woman of the 
K'y^kweina, who carried her heart in her rattle and was deathless 


of -wounds ill the body, led the enemy, crying out shrilly; all of which, 
yea and more, beyond the words of a sitting, is told in other speeches 
of our ancient talks, those of the Ka'ka. Thus, it fell out ill for the 
fighting of our impetuous ancients j for, moreover,. thunder raged and 
confused their warriors, rain descended and blinded them, stretching 
their bow-strings of sinew, and quenching the flight of their arrows as 
the flight of bees is quenched by the sprinkling-plume of the honey 
hunter. But the strong 'Hl^etokwe devised bow-strings of yucca, 
and the -Two Little Ones sought counsel of the Sun-father, who 
revealed the life-secret of the Demoness and the magic power over 
the under-flres {Icoline) of the dwellers in the mountains and cliffs; 
so that after certain days the enemy in the mountain town were over- 
mastered. And because our people found in that great town some 
survivors hidden deep in the cellars thereof, and plucked them forth as 
rats are pulled from a hollow cedar, and found them blackened by the 
fumes of their own war-magic, yet comely and wiser than the common 
lot of men withal, they spared them and called them the Kwinikwa. 
kwe (Black people), and received them into their kin of the Black Corn. 


Kow for once even the Warriors of the Bow were fully surfeited of 
fighting, and paused to rest. Thus, warm hands of brothers elder 
and younger were clasped with the vanquished; and in time (for at 
first these people were wild of tongue) speech was held with them, 
whereby our fathers gained much knowledge, even of their own powers 
and possessions, from these Black people, in like manner as they had 
gained knowledge from the People of the Dew, whence in like manner 
also they grew wiser in tbe ways of living, and loved more to cherish 
their corn and corn virgins that they might have life and abundance 
rather than cause deatli and hunger. Yet were their journeyings not 
ended. Again, and anon, the shell sounded warning. 

When, therefore, the Twain Little Ones, Ahaiyuta and M4tsailema, 
again bade the people arise to seek the Middle, they divided them 
into great companies, that they might fare the better (being fewer in 
numbers together) as well as be the better content with thinking that, 
thus scattered, they would the sooner find the place they had for so 
long sought. So, again the Winter people were bidden to go north- 
ward, that in their strength they might overcome evils and obstacles 
and with their bows strung with slackless fiber of the yucca, contend, 
winning their way with the enemy in cold weather or warm, and in 
rain and dryness alike. With them, as aforetime, they carried their 
precious miletone, and with them journeyed M^tsailema and the War- 
riors of the Knife, they and chosen Priests of the Bow. 

Also, to the southward, as before, journeyed the Seed people and the 
kinties of Corn and others of the Summer people, they and with them 

426 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

the Black people, wise and possessed of tbe magic of the under-flre, hav- 
ing dealings also with Ka'ka-kwe and with the wonderful Chua-kwe — 
a people like themselves, of corn, and called therefore People of Corn 
grains, — they and their Ka'ka, the K'yAmak'ya-kwe, or Snail Beings 
of the South (those who waged war with men and their Ka'ka in after 
times), for these reasons they, the Summer people, led the people of 
Corn and Seed and these alien people. 

And as before, the people of the Middle — yea, and those of the Seed 
and Dew who especially cherished the clmetone and the Maidens of 
Corn — sought the Middle through the midmost way, led of Ahaiyuta, 
the elder, and his Priests of the Bow. 


The People of Winter, those led by the 'Hleeto-kwe, and MAtsai- 
lema, fought their way fiercely into the valley of the Snow-water river 
(iJk'yawane — Eio Puerco del Poniente), settling first at the mud- 
issuing springs of that valley (H^kwainankwin), where their villages 
may be seen in mounds to this day, and the marks of the rites of their 
fathers and of their kin-names on the rocks thereabout. 

And they became far wanderers toward the north, building towns 
wheresoever they paused, some high among the cliff's, others in the 
plains. And how they reached at last the " Sacred City of the Mists 
Enfolded" (Shfpapulima, at the Hot Springs in Colorado), the Middle 
of the world of Sacred Brotherhoods (Tik'yaawa Itiwana), and were 
taughtof P6shaiai)k'yaere he descended again; and how they returned 
also, thus building everywhere they tarried, along the Eiver of Great 
Water-flowing, (Eio Grande del Norte) even back to the mountains of 
Zuuiland (Shiwina yAlawan) and settled finally at the Place of Planting 
(Ta'iya or Las Nutrias) — all this and more is told in the speeches they 
themselves hold of our ancient discourse. 


The people of Corn and the Seeds, guided by the Kwinikwakwe, fared 
for long peacefully, southward along the valley of the Eiver of Eed 
Flowing Waters, building them towns of beauty and greatness, as may 
be seen to this day, and the marks of their rites also are on the rocks 
whithersoever they traveled. Far south they fared until they came 
to the great valley of Shohkouiman (home, or i)lace of nativity, of 

the Flute-canes) beneath the Mountain of Flutes (Shohko y^lana La 

Sierra Escudilla), whence they turned them eastward. 

How they builded thereafter, wheresoever long they remained, not 
single towns, but for each sept of their kin ties a town by itself, and 
the names of these clan-towns, and the wars they fought contending 
with the Ka'ka, and how finally they reached the Mountain of Space- 
speaking Markings (Y41a T6tsinapa), then turned them back west- 


ward and sat thein down at last with other people of the way, in the 
upper valley of Zuuiland (Shiwina Teii'hlkwaina), building Hesho- 
tatsina (The Town of S])eech-markings) and many other towns, all 
of them round and divided into parts, ere they rejoined the people of 
the Middle, when that they too had come nigh over the heart of the 
world — all this and much else is told in the speeches they themselves 
hold of our ancient discourse. 



How the People of the Middle, the Macaw people and their children, 
journeyed straightway eastward, led by Ahaiyuta and the lathers of 
all the people, this we tell in the mid-coming speech of our sacred an- 
cient discourse, and in other speeches thereof. How, now, after time, 
they settled at KwAkina, where the Brotherhood of Fire (MAkekwe) 
had its i)lace of ancient origin in wondrous wise — told of by themselves — 
and where originated their great dance drama of the IMountain Sheep, 
and the power of entrance into flre, and even of contention with sorcery 

And at each place in which the people stopped, building greatly, they 
learned or did some of the things for which those who be custodians 
of our olden customs amongst the Tik'yaiipapakwe (Sacred Brother- 
hoods) are still marvelous in their knowledge and practice. But 
after our father ancients had builded in KwAkina, lo! when the world 
rumbled and the shells sounded, the noise thereof was not great, and 
therefore no longer did they arise as a whole people, for seeking yet 
still the Middle, but always many abode longer, some living through 
the dangers which followed, and becoming the fathers of " Those who 
dwell round about the Middle." Still, for long the warnings sOunded 
and the leaders would be summoning the people to seek the " very mid- 
most place wherein the tabernacle of the sacred seed-contents might be 
placed at rest safely for all time, and where might dwell in peace those 
who kept it." 


It was in this way that first after Kw4kina, Hawikuh was built, and 
thereafter, round about Zuiii, each (at first lesser because of the people 
lelt behind each time) of all the others of the six towns of all the regions 
the Midmost (Shiwina 'Hluella tJlapna). 

First, then, Kw^kina, then Hawikuh, K'ytoawe, Hampasawan, 
K'yakime and MAtsaki. And in what manner the people dwelt in 
each of these, how they talked and consorted wondrously with beasts 
and gods alike is told in the telapnawe (tales of the olden time pass- 
ing) of our ancients, alike in the "lies of the grandfathers" and in the 
"strands" of their solemn sayings. But always, at each place, were 


those abiding who believed, despite the warnings, that they had found 
the Middle, least wise for themselves, contending the which, they con- 
tinued in the place of their choice, those of the Nortlicrn (sept) in the 
first place, those of the West next, and so, those of the South, East, 
Upper and Lower regions. Whilst still the main people of the Macaw 
and the other Middle kinties, sought uuweariedly until they thought at 
last that in M4tsaki they had found indeed the place of the Middle. 


Whilst in this persuasion they still tarried there, lo! again, after 
long wanderings through many valleys, the peoples of Corn and the 
Seed found them there, through seeing of their smoke, and in the near 
valley to the eastward found they as well the peoples of the Corn and 
the Seed, dwelling in their great round towns, the smoke whereof wan- 
derers had also erstwhile been. So they said to them, "Te are our 
younger brothers ! At MAtsaki, here at the Middle, let us dwell in peace 
as one people, others of our kinds around about us, yet with us !" 

Thereby M^tsaki greatly increased ; but the warnings yet still sounded 
anon and the gods and master-priests of the people could not rest. 


Nay, they called a great council of men and the beings, beasts, birds 
and insects of all kinds 'hlimna; these were gathered in the council. 

After long deliberation it was said: 

"Where is K'yanas'tipe, the Water-skate! Lo ! legs has he of great 
extension, six in number. Mayhap he can feel forth with them to the 
uttermost of all the six regions, thereby pointing out the very Middle." 
And K'yanas'tipe, being summoned, appeared in semblance, growing 
greater; for lo! it was the Sun-father himself (K'yanas'tipe through 
'■hlimna being). And he answered their questions ere he was bespoken, 
saying, "Yea, that can I do." And he lifted himself to the zenith, and 
extended his finger-feet six to all of the six regions, so that they 
touched to the north, the great waters ; and to the west, and the south, 
and the east, the great waters; and to the northeast, the waters 
above; and to the southwest, the waters below. 

But to the north, his finger-foot grew cold, so he drew it in; and to 
the west, the waters being nearer, touched his finger-foot thither 
extended, so he drew that in also. But to the south and east far 
reached his other finger-feet. Then gradually he settled downward and 
called out, "Where my heart and navel rest, beneath them mark ye the 
spot and there build ye a town of the midmost, for there shall be the 
midmost place of the earth-mother, even the navel; albeit not the 
center, because of the nearness of cold in the north and the nearness of 
waters in the west." And when he descended (squatting), his belly 


rested over the middle of the plain and valley of Zuni; and when he 
drew in his finger-legs, lo ! there were the trail-roads leading out and 
in like stays of a spider's net, into and forth from the place he had 


Then the fathers of the people built in that spot, and rested thereat 
their tabernacle of sacred treasures. But K'yanils'fipe had swerved in 
lowering, and their town was reared a little south of the very midmost 
place. Nevertheless, no longer in after time sounded the earnings. 
Hence, because of their great good fortune {hdlowilin) in thus find- 
ing the stable middle of the world, the priest-fathers of the people 
called this midmost town the Abiding place of Happy Fortune (Halo- 


Yet, because they had erred even so little, and because the first 
priest of after times did evil, lo ! the river to the southward ran full, 
and breaking from its pathway cut in twain the great town, burying 
houses and men iu the mud of its impetuosity. Whenue, those who 
perished not and those of the flooded towns rounded about fled to the 
top of the Mountain of Thunder, they with all their Seed i)eople and 
things, whence the villages they built there were named Taaiya'hltona 
'Hluelawa, or the "Towus-all-above of-the-seed-all." 


But when by the sacrifice of the youth priest and maiden priestess (as 
told iu other speech) the waters had been made to abate and the land 
became good to walk upon, all the people descended, calling that higli 
mountain place, which ever after hath echoed thunder, Taaiyalane, 
or the Mountain of Thunder. When all the towns were rebuilded, 
then on the northern side of the river they builded anew the Town of 
the Middle, calling it H41ona Itiwana (Halona the Midmost); but the 
desolated part they called HAlonawan, because they had erred there 
(hdlowaJc^ya), though even so little. 


Now at last never more did the world rumble; yet the fathers of the 
people questioned in their hearts, fearing further misfortune to their 
children, if so be they still erred in the resting place of the sacred mys- 
teries whatsoever. So, when the sun had reached the middle between 
winter and summer, they devised an ordinance and custom whereby this 
might be tested. They brought out the things of lightning and the 

430 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

earthquake; even the keepers of the great navel-shell were summoned 
as having canny and magio skill. And as now we do in observing the 
custom of the Middle-arriving, all the people fasting, all the fires close 
kept, so then, for ten days they made ready, and on the last night the 
shell was laid by the sacred fire in H6in Kiwitsina of the l^orth, and 
watched all the night through, by its keepers and the fathers foremost, 
and the Priests of the Bow. Meanwhile the incantations of dread 
meaning, taught of the Twain in H4nthlipiqk'ya, were chanted, yet the 
world only rumbled deeply and afar down, but it trembled not, neither 
did the Seven Fell Ones breathe destruction — only storms. Then, said 
the fathers, " O, thanks ! In peace- expecting mood may we kindle 
afresh the fires of our hearths for the year that is dawning." And they 
sent forth nCw fire to all houses, causing the old to be cast out as is 
seen and known to us all in the custom of this day of the Middle- 

So, happily abode the people, they and their brothers round about 
them at the Middle, for surely now the sacred things were resting over 
the stable middle of the world, and were the foundations of Helena 
Itiwaua or the Midmost place of Favor (or fortune). 



Now when thus, after long ages of wandering, the tabernacles of 
the precious seed-things were resting over the Middle at Zuiii (they, 
the fathers of the people and also the Gorn tribes and their other chil- 
dren), then, as in the olden time, men turned their hearts rather to the 
cherishing of their corn and Corn maidens than to the wasting of lives 
in war with strange men and the Akaka. Again they loved, cheerfully 
too, the custom of the beautiful Corn maidens, and this, year after year, 
they practiced that the seed of seeds might ever be renewed and its 
abundance be maintained. 



And whereas this was well, yet, forsooth ! there were not wanting 
those who grew weary of the custom at last, and said that it was not 
as in the olden time it had been. Then, said they, the fathers of the 
people had performed their custom, and the fathers of the people of 
Dew theirs, the one awaiting the other, as it were, and both joining in 
the sight of the people all. Otliers said that the music was not as that 
of the olden time; that better far was that which of nights they some- 
times heard (oftener toward morning) as they wandered up and down 
the trail by the river ; wonderful music this, as of liquid voices in 
caverns or the echo of women's laughter in water- vases. And this 
music, they said, was timed with a deep-toued drum, and seemed to 
come forth from the very bowels of the Mountain of Thunder. Lo ! 


they were awed thereby, and bethought that the music was, mayhap, 
that of the ghosts of ancient men who had dwelt above iu the times 
of the high waters; but it was iar more beautiful, at least, thau the 
music of the 'Hlabekwe singers when danced the Corn maidens. 

Others said yea, and lingering near they had seen, as the day- 
light increased, white clouds roll upward from the grotto iu Thunder 
mountain like to the mists that leave behind them the dew itself, and 
as the sun rose, lo ! within them even as they faded, the bright gar- 
ments of the Eainbow- women might sometimes be seen fluttering, and 
the broidery and paintings of these dancers of the mists were more 
beautiful than the costumes of even the Maidens of (Joru. 


Then were the fathers of the People-priests of the House of Houses 
sore displeased at these murmuriugs of their children, and bade them 
to be hushed ; yet they pondered, and bethought themselves how to 
still these foolish children yet more completely, so that the precious 
Mothers of Corn be not made sad by their plaints. 

"What is this ye tell us?" said they. "These things be to the simple 
as the wind and other movings, speechless ; but to us, they be signs, 
even as erst the warnings of the under-world were signs to our fathers 
the beloved, and ourselves, that we seek still further the Middle, so are 
these things signs to us. Stay, therefore, thy feet with patience, 
while we devise that ye be made content and happy." Then to one 
another they said, '-It may well be Paiyatuina, the liquid voices his 
flute and the flutes of his players that they tell of. Come now, we will 
await the time of our custom and then learn if perchance our hearts 
guess aright." 


Now when the time of ripening corn was near, the fathers ordered 
preparation for the 'Hlahekwe, or dance of the Corn maidens. 

When the days of preparing had been well nigh numbered, the 
old ones, even the Ka'yemashi themselves who had come with the 
Ka'ka (subject now to the prayerful breaths of the priest-fathers of 
the people) in the spring and summer times of the Ka'k'okshi dances, 
came forth yet again from the west, and with fun and much noise of 
mouth, made — as for his sister their father had first made — a bower of 
cedar. But this bower they built, not in the open plain, but iu the 
great court of the town where the dances and customs of the Ka'ka 
were held. For iu these days the people and the kinties of Seed no 
longer came as strangers to the abode of other people, hence builded 
not their bower in the plain, but in the plaza of their own town. And 
the Ka'yemashi diligently collected cedar-boughs and rafter-poles 

432 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

from the hills beyond the plains. With these, as they had beea com- 
manded in olden time by K'yiik'lu, they builded the great bower. 
They helped also the chosen men of the Badger and Water kinties to 
bring the hemlock trees from the southern canyon, and danced, sing- 
ing gravely for the nonce, as these called forth the growth thereof in 
sacred smoke of the spaces, and then, as the night fell, laden with offer- 
ings from the people, and whitened with the favor of their prayer-meal, 
they returned whither the Ka'ka and the souls of men ever return, west- 
ward along the river to the mountains of the Dance of Good and the 
Waters of the Dead. 

Then came the Sun-priest and the Priests of the House of Houses, 
with the tabernacles of sacred seed-substances, the muetone, the 
¥ydetone and the chiietone, and with world-terraced bowls of sacred 
favor (prayer-meal). These, they bore into the plaza in solemn 
procession, followed by the matrons of the Seed and Water clans, 
with the trays of new seed and their offerings of plumed wands to 
the spaces ; and even as today, in every particular, so then the Priest 
of the Sun and his younger brothers of the House laid out the sacred 
reclining terrace and roadway of prayer, leading down from it through 
the middle, and duly placed the sacred things in order upon and before 
it. As today it is done even in the same order, so then the priests took 
their places at the rear of the terrace and alt^ar of sacred things, and 
the matrons theirs by their trays of new seed, those of the Seed kins 
southwardly to the right, those of the Water kins northwardly to the 
left beside the reclining terrace and down the sacred roadway guided and 
placed, each in order, by the chosen leaders of the dance, and watched 
over by the Priests of the Bow. 

Thus, when the singers came and sat them down in the southern 
side, as today, so then, the father of the people gave the word for begin- 
ning, and spake the issuing-forth rites. But then, not as now, there 
were singers only to the south, yea, and dancers only of them, whence 
the comi>lainings of the people had been voiced. 

As the darkness deepened the master-priest said, "Lo, now! as in 
the olden time let kindled be a fire, beyond the dancers [otalcwe) in 
front of the bower. Mayhap by its light yet other singers and dancers 
will come, as in the olden time came Paiyatuma and his people, for 
the perfection of the corn. If so be, those who murmur will be content 
with the completeness of our custom." 

Then those whose office it was to keep the shell and fire, generated 
with their hands the heat thereof, and the youths round about merrily 
attended them with fuel, and in the brightening light the dance went on. 


When the House of the Seven Stars had risen high in the sky, then 
the fathers summoned before them the two Master-priests of the Bow. 


" Ye have heard," said they iu low-sounding speech, " the complainings 
of these children and their tales of strange sights and sounds at the 
grotto under Thunder mountain. Go forth, therefore, and test the truth 
of all this. If so be ye too hear the music, approach the cavern and 
send greeting before ye. It were no wonder if ye behold Paiyatuma 
and his maidens other seven, and his singers and players of flutes. 
They will deem ye well arrived, and maychance will deign to throw the 
light of their favor upon us and give us help of their custom, thereby 
adding to the contentment and welfare of our children among men, and 
to the completeness of our own observances." 

Then with their hands the Fathers of the House extended their 
breaths, which breathing, the Priests of the Bow went forth, one fol- 
lowing the other. 


When, up the trail of the river, they had some time passed M^tsaki, 
they heard the sound of a drum and strains of song now and then echo- 
ing down from Thunder mountain. Then they knew that tbe sounds 
came from the Cavern of the Eainbow, and so hastened forward ; and as 
they neared the entrance, mists enshrouded them, and they knew now 
also that verily Paiyatuma was there. 'J'hen they called to know if 
there were gathering within . The singing ceased, and they Avere bidden 
to enter and sit. As they did so, Paiyatuma came forward to them 
and said : 

"Ye come well. I have commanded the singers to cease and the 
players to draw breath from their flutes, that we might hearken to the 
messages ye bear, since for naught never stranger visits the place of a 

"True," replied the two, "our fathers have sent us to seek and greet 
ye, it having been declared by our children that thy song-sounds and 
the customs thereof so far surpass our own, even those of our beloved 
Maidens, makers of the seed of seeds." 

"Ah, well!" replied he, "thus ever is it with men, children, verily! 
Athirst ever are they for that which is not or which they have not. 
Yet it is well that ye come, and it shall be as ye wish. Sit ye yet longer, 
watch and listen." 

To the left, grouped around a great world-bowl, clad in broidered 
cotton vestment, were a splendid band of players, long flutes in their 
hands and the adornments of god-priests on their faces and persons. 
In their midst, too, was a drummer and also a bearer of the song-stafif; 
aged, they, and dignified with years. 

Paiyatuma scattered a line of pollen on the floor, and folding his 
arms strode to the rear of the cavern, then turned him about and with 
straightened mien {tsdmo^hlanishi), advanced again. Following him, lo, 
and behold! came seven maidens beauteous like to the Maidens of 
Corn, but taller and fainter of form. Like to them also in costume, yet 
13 ETH 28 

434 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann.13 

differing somewhat iu the hue of the mantles they wore. And in their 
hands they carried, not tablets of the sun, moon, and each her star 
with cross symbol of the Corn priests above them, but, verily, wands 
of Cottonwood from the branchlets and buds of which tiny clouds 
flowed forth. 

"These be the sisters of our Maidens of Corn, of the House of the 
Stars, seen these too, as they, so these more faintly, as, when above are 
seen the stars of the House of Seven, others seven are seen below in the 
waters. Like in form of gesture is their dance custom, but fertile not 
of the seed, but of the water of life wherewith the seed is quickened," 
said Paiyatuma. 

He lifted his flute, then took his place in the line of the dancers, as 
the yd'poto does in the line of the Corn dance. The drum sounded 
until the cavern shook as with thunder. The flutes sang and sighed as 
the wind in a wooded canyon whilst still the storm is distant. White 
mists floated up from the wands of the maidens and mingled with the 
breath of the flutes over the terraced world-bowl, above which sported 
the butterflies of Summerland, about the dress of the Rainbow in the 
strange blue light of the night. 

Awed and entranced with the beauty of it were the Priests of the 
Bow, insomuch that when they arose to go they feared to speak their 
further message. But Paiyatuma, smiling, gave them his breath with 
his hands and said, " Go ye the way before, telling the fathers of our 
custom, and straightway we will follow." 


Then silently the Priests of the Bow returned a.s they had come, and 
entering the dance-court and bower, bowed low and breathed over the 
hands of the fathers and by them being breathed and smoked in turn, 
old of what they had seen and listened to in the Cave of the Rainbow. 
But the watchers had grown weary, and only the fathers heard and 
understood. While the people nodded their heads all drowsily, some 
sleeping, the leaders arose as their father ancients had arisen on that 
niglit of the birth of Corn in the olden time, and carried the sacred 
gourds aside and placed them around a great world-bowl wherein 
was water, and over thein in secret (as in the olden time those fathers- 
ancients had done with the prayer- wands and grass seeds, so now) th^ 
performed rites, and said mystic prayer- words. And in the bowl they 
put dew of honey and sacred honey-dust of corn-pollen, and the ancient 
stones — ancient of water whence water increases. Then, to the left and 
northward side they placed the bowl and with it a great drum jar, 
and spread blankets as for singers other than those already sitting on 
the southern side. 

After that they sat them down again, and then the Priests of the Bow 
signed their guardian younger brothers to bestir the people assembled 


that they might sit the more seemly for the coming, mayhap, of precious 


Ere long, the sound of music was heard, coming from up the river, 
and soon came Paiyatuma followed by his Flute peoj^le and singers 
and maidens of the Flute dance. Uprose the fathers and all the watch- 
ing people, greeting the God of Dawn with outstretched hands and 
offerings of prayer-meal, and words of thanks and welcome. Then the 
singers took their places and sounded their drum, flutes, and sonj> of 
clear waters, while the Maidens of the Dew danced their custom of the 
Flute dance. Greatly marveled the people when from the wands they 
bore forth came white clouds, and fine cool mists descended. 


Now when tjje dance was ended and the Dew maidens, with Paiya- 
tuma, had retired within the bower, forth came the beautiful and ever 
young Mothers of Corn. And when the players of the flutes saw them, 
they were enamored of their beauty, and gazed upon them so intently 
that fain were the maidens to let fall their hair and cast down their eyes. 
Yet the youths grew not less bold of eye. Then, yea and with jealousy 
now, bolder grew the youths mortal, who led the dance and attended 
the dancers, and lo ! as the morning neared and the dancers of the 
flute came forth again, these, impassioned and in rivalry, sought all 
too freely the presence of the Mother-maidens, no longer holding them 
so precious as in olden time, but e'en plucking at their white garments. 

Meanwhile the people, eagerly watching the new dance, gave little 
heed to aught else. For behold ! the waters rose in the terraced bowl 
and flowed out toward the dancers, yea, and the mists increased greatly, 
shrouding the watchers and the dancers alike, until within them the 
Maidens of Corn, all white their garments, became Invisible! Then 
sadly and noiselessly they stole in amongst the people and laid their 
corn- wands down amongst the trays, and passing the seed-corn over 
their i:)ersons, placed it back in the trays, and laid their white broid- 
ered garments thereupon as mothers lay soft kilting over their babes. 
Behold ! having thus by their wonderful knowledge now placed within 
the corn the substance of their flesh, then even as the mists became 
they, and with the mists drifting, fled away, verily, to the far south 

As the day dawned the dancers of the flutes completed their custom, 
the players, waving their flutes over the people assembled, followed 
Paiyatuma as he strode, wordless, forth from the midst of the people. 


The call was voiced, and the song of the Maidens of Corn sounded as 
when the others had retired before ; the drum was beaten and the rattles 

436 , ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.annMS 

were shaken — but all iu vain. No maidens t-ame forth from the bower. 
Then eagerly the leaders sought all through the bower. Naught found 
they save the precious wands and the garments all softly laid there- 
upon, of their beloved Maidens of the Seed. Deep was their grief and 
all silent were the people. Then spake the fathers: "Look ye now; 
ye have watched ill, ye matrons and elders, and therein grievously have 
ye sinned, wherefore lost be our beloved maidens, mothers of the Seed 
of Seed, for some amongst our children have dared to hold them less 
than precious, and look upon them as upon maidens of the people they 
look! Wherefore arise, and brush away from thy persons and spit 
forth from thy mouths the evil of this night, that the day find ye not 
shame-darkened, and further ill befall ye not than the grievous loss of 
our beautiful maidens ; for the rash forwardness of our youths, and the 
negligence ye have ijroveu guilty of in failing to watch all things well 
are sore, and are punished full meetly as was warned us aforetime by 
this our grievous loss ! " 

Then said they to one another, "We must seek (but how?) the 
maidens; and we must summon them forth from their hiding with 
solemn promise, if only that we may look upon them once more and 
see that they go forth at least content with those who have not wrought 
this evil, and content with us, not wroth; and that they be not thus 
wroth or sad hearted, and therefore withhold not from us their sacred 
breaths of blessing, lacking which the corn seed, life of flesh, can not 
flourish. But who shall seek them for us ? They left no trail behind 
and far must have instant journeyed, being now of other-being — as may 
be seen by their cast-off garments, left here with us. O, woe ! woe 
the day when we heeded not well their preciousness ! If woe to us, woe 
indeed to our murmuring children who know not what they want, and 
lightly consider too many of the things they have, therein lightly 
holding them ! " 


Again, therefore, called they forth the two master-priests, and said : 
"Who, now, think ye, should journey to seek our precious maidens? 
Bethink ye, strong of will, who amongst the beings is even as ye are, 
strong of will and good of eyes 1 

" There is our great elder brother and father, the Eagle, he of the side 
floating down [sulahaiyan Idtane) and the terraced tail-fan {dwi^hluiyan 
¥y(itme) ; surely he is enduring of will and surpassing of sight." 

"Tea, most surely," said the fathers. " G-o ve forth and beseech 

Then northward fared the twain swiftly to Twin mountain, where 
dwelt with his mate and his young, in a grotto high up among the 
crags, the Eagle of the White Bonnet. 

And when they climbed the mountain and spake in at the entrance 
of the grotto, behold! only the eaglets were there, who, frightened. 


screamed lustily, striving to hide themselves in the dark recesses to 
the rearward, "O, pull not our feathers, ye of hurtful touch, but wait, 
when we are older we will drop them e'en from the clouds for you ! " 

"Hush!" said the warriors, "wait ye in peace, for we seek not ye 
but thy father!" 

But from afar came at once, a frown on his brow, the old Eagle. 
"Why disturb ye my pin-featherlings ? " cried he. 

"Behold, father and elder brother, we come seeking only the light of 
thy favor. Listen ! " 

Then they told hini of the lost Corn maidens, and prayed him to 
seek them, that messages of conciliation might be sent them or given. 

"Being so, be it well with thy wishes. Go ye before contentedly," 
answered the Eagle, smoothing his feathers. 

Forthwith the warriors returned to the council of the fathers, relat- 
ing how that their message had been well received, and the eagle leapt 
forth and winged his way high into the sky — high, high, until he circled 
among the clouds, small seeming and swift, as seed-down in a whirl- 
wind. And all through the heights he circled and sailed, to the north, 
the west, the south and the east. Yet nowhere saw he trace of the 
Maidens. Then he flew lower, returning, and the people heard the roar 
of his wings almost ere the warriors were rested, and arose eagerly 
to receive his tidings. As he alighted, the fathers said, "Enter thou 
and sit, oh brother, and say to us what thou hast to say;" and they 
offered him the cigarette of the space-relations. 

When they had puffed to the regions and purified his breath with 
smoke, and blown smoke over the sacred things, then the Eagle spake: 
" Far have I journeyed, scanning all the regions. Neither blue bird nor 
wood-rat can hide from my seeing," said he, snapping his beak and 
looking aslant. "Neither of them, unless they hide under bushes; yet 
have I failed to see aught of the maidens ye seek for. Send you, 
therefore, for my younger brother the Falcon; strong of flight is he, 
yet not so potently strong as I, and nearer the ground he takes his way 
ere sunrise. 

Then the Eagle, scarce awaiting the thanks of the fathers, spread 
his wings and flew away to Twin mountain, and the Warrior Priests 
of the Bow, sought again fleetly over the plain to the westward for 
his younger brother, the Falcon. 


They found him sitting on an ant hill; nor would he have paused but 
for their cries of peaceful import, for, said he, as they approached him, 
" If ye have snare-strings I will be off like the flight of an arrow well 
plumed of our feathers ! " 

" Nay, now ! " said the twain. " Thy elder brother hath bidden us 
seek thee." Thereupon they told him what had passed, and how that 
the Eagle had failed to find their maidens so white and beautiful. 

438 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. |eth.ann.13 

"Failed, say ye? Of course he failed! For he clambers aloft to 
the clouds and thinks, forsooth, that he can see under every bush and 
into every shadow, as sees the Sun-father who sees not with eyes! 
Go ye before," said the Falcon; and ere they had turned toward the 
town, he had spread his sharp wings and was skimming off over the 
tops of the trees and bushes as though verily seeking for field mice or 
birds' nests. And the warriors returned to tell the fathers and await 
his coming; but after he had sought far over the world to the north 
and the west, the east aud the south, he too returned and was 
received as had been the Eagle; but when he had settled on the edge 
of a tray, before the altar, as on the ant hills he settles today, and had 
smoked and been smoked as had been the Eagle, he told the sorrowing 
fathers and mothers that he had looked behind every copse and cliff- 
shadow, but of the maidens had found no trace. " They are hidden 
more closely than ever sparrow hid," said he, gripping the cover of the 
tray on which he perched as though it were real feathers and blood, 
and ruffling his crest. Then he, too, flew away to his hills in the west. 

"Alas ! alas ! our beautiful maiden mothers ! " cried the matrons. 
" Lost, lost as the dead are they ! " "Yea," said others, "where, how 
indeed, shall we seek them now I For the far- seeing Eagle and the close- 
searching Falcon alike have failed to find them." 


" Stay your feet with patieuce," said the fathers. For some amongst 
them heard a Raven who was wandering about the edge of the town at 
break of day seeking food in the dirt and refuse, and they bethought 
themselves. "Look, now! There is Heavy-nose, whose beak never fails 
to find the substance of seed itself, however so little or well hidden it be. 
Surely he well must know then, of the maiden-mothers thereof. Let us 
call him." So they bade the warrior-priests go forth once more. Forth 
to the river side went the priests. "We carry no pricking quills," said 
they, raising their hands all weaponless, "and, O, Black-banded father, 
we seek your aid; for look now, the mother-maidens of seed whose 
substance is the food aUke of thy people and our people, have fled away 
whither neither our grandfather the Eagle, nor yet his younger brother 
the Falcon, can trace them; and we pray thee to aid us or give us 
counsel of guidance." 

"TCa.' fca.'" cried the Eaven. "Nay, now; much too hungry am I to 
go abroad fasting on business for ye and thy kind. Ye are stingy! 
Here have I been since ever perching time, striving to win a throat- 
ful, but ye pick thy bones and lick thy bowls too clean for the like of 
that, be sure ! " 

" But come in then, thou poor grandfather. Surely we will give thee 
food to eat; yea, and a cigarette to smoke with all due observance!" 

" Say ye so ? " said the Eaven, ruffling his collar and opening his mouth 
so wide with a lusty hwa-la-Jca, that well he might have swallowed his 


own head. "Go ye before, then," snid lie, and he followed them 
closely into the court of dancers. 

Not ill to look upon was he, for upon his shoulders were bands of 
cotton, white, and his back was blue and gleaming as the tresses of a 
maiden dancer in sunlight. When the warriors had spoken to the fath- 
ers, the master priest of them, rising, came forward and greeted the 
Raven, bidding him sit and smoke. 

"Ha! there is corn in this, else why the stalk thereof?" said the 
Raven as, taking the cane cigarette of the far-spaces, he noticed the 
joint thereof. Therefore, forthwith, as he had seen the master do, so 
did he, only more greedily. He sucked in such a throatful of the 
smoke, fire and all, that it well nigh strangled him, and he coughed 
and grew giddy and sick to such a pass that the smoke, all hot and 
stinging, went through every part of him, and filled all his feathers, 
making even his brown eyes bluer and blacker in rings ! It is not to 
be wondered at, this blueness of flesh, blackness of dress and tearful- 
ness, yea and skinniuess, of eye which we see in his kindred today. 
Nay, nor is it matter of wonder, either, that for all that, they are as 
greedy of corn-food as ever, for look now — no sooner had the old Raven 
recovered than he espied one of the ears of corn half hidden under the 
mantle-covers of the trays. He leapt from his sitting place laughing 
(as they always do when they find anything, these ravens), then catch- 
ing up the ear of corn, he made off with it over the heads of the people 
and the tops of the houses, saying, "Ha! ha! in this wise and in no 
other raeseems will ye find thy Seed maidens!" 

Nevertheless, after some absence, he came back, saying, "^V sharp eye 
have I for the flesh of the maidens, but of their breathing-beings, who 
might see them, ye dolts, save by help of the Father of Dawn Mist him- 
self, whose breath makes others of breath seen as itself; " whereupon 
he flew away again kawkling. 



"Truly now, truly," said the elders to one another; "but how shall 
we find, and how prevail on our father Paiyatuma to aid us, when so 
grievous is ours the fault ? Which same, moreover, he warned us of 
in the old time." 

Of a sudden, for the sun was rising, they heard Paiyatuma in his 
daylight mood and '■hlimnan. Thoughtless and loud, uncouth of mouth, 
was he, as he took his way along the outskirts of the village. Joking 
was he, as today joke fearlessly of the fearful, his children the Nc^we- 
kwe for all his words and deeds were reversals ({yati'hhia penawe) of 
themselves and of his sacred being. Thus, when quickly the warrior 
priests were sped to meet him, and had given to him their greetings 
and messages, he sat him down on a heap of vile refuse, saying that 
he was about to make festival thereof, and could in no wise be 


disturbed. "Why come ye not?" said he, "cowards and followers 
of the people?" 

"I«fay, but we are Priests of the Bow, the twain who lead them, 
father, and we do come." 

" Nay, but ye do not come ! " 

"Yea, verily we do come, and to seek thy favor, asking that ye 
accompany us to the council of the elders," said the two priests. 

" Still I say ye nay, and that ye are children, all; and that if ye did 
come, ye could not summon me, and that if ye did summon me, go 
would I not, forsooth, to a council of little children ; nay, not I ! " said he, 
rising and preparing forthwith to follow them, as it were, but immedi- 
ately taking the lead, and striding rudely into the presence of the 
fathers whom he greeted noisily and with laughter like one distraught, 
and without dignity or shame. 

"My poor little children," said he to the aged priests and the white 
haired matrons, "good the night to ye all" (albeit in full dawning); 
"ye fare happily, I see, which perplexes me with sorrow." 

" Comest thou, father?" said the chief priest; "pity thou our shame 
and sorrow." 

"Father yourself; nay, not I!" 

"Father," said the chief priest once more, "verily we are guilty, but 
lo ! yet the more sad from much seeking in vain for our maidens the 
mothers of seed; and we have summoned thee to beseech the light 
of thy wisdom and favor, earnestly, O, father, notwithstanding our 
fault which thou thyself warned us in oldeli time to beware, yet do we 
beseech thee ! " 

"Ha! how good that I find ye so happy, guileless, arrogant and so 
little needing of my counsel and helping." 

" But we beseech the light of thy favor, O, father, and aid in the 
finding of our beautiful maidens." 

" Oh that is all, is it? But why find that which is not lost, or sum- 
mon those who will not come? Even if they were lost and would come, 
look now ! I would not go to seek them. And if I went to 'seek them I 
could not find them, and if I found them and called them they would 
not hearken and follow, and even if they would I should bid them bide 
in Summerland if they were there, and tell them ye cared naught for 
their presence, having too preciously cherished them." 

"Lo, now!" said he, looking down and at the fathers; "I see that 
thine old ones, those whom ye follow, are all wise, while ye have been 
foolish and negligent, not preparing sacredly the plumes of the spaces, 
nor setting them in order before the uplifted terrace, nor yet here behind 
the winding lines of the seed trays and the walkers by them," said he 
as he stooped to pluck up the very plumes he had said were not there 
and withal in front of the reclining terrace and the straight rows of 
patient sitters. One — the yellow, that of the north — he took, and 
breathed thereon. "Evil, all evil and ill made," quoth he, shaking his 


head over its sacred completeness and beauty. Then he took up 
another, that of the west, then the red of the south and the white of 
the east. And gathering them in his arms he said, turning to go, 
" Now verily we approach." 

As he thus turned to go, P^kwina the master. Speaker of the Sun, 
who, all wise, well knew the meaning of these lying speeches, arose, 
and taking two plumes, the banded wing-tip feathers of the turkey, the 
right and the left, shifted them as he advanced toward Paiyatuma, 
taking the left one in his right hand and the right one in his left hand. 
And nearing Paiyatuma he stroked him with the tips of the feathers, 
upward, breathing from them each time. Four times he stroked him, 
and then laid the feathers on his lips. And Paiyatuma spat upon 
them and breathed upon them, and all the people spat by his sign of 
command, uprising. Then the master- priest took the right feather in his 
right hand and the left feather in his left, and casting abroad the lying 
spittle, himself spat lightly and blew upon the feathers, and with them 
stroked the lips, then the person, of Paiyatuma, this time downward, 
breathing upon them. And this he did four times, and the face of Pai- 
yatuma grew grave, and he lifted himself upward ; and when he had so 
uplifted himself, lo ! he was aged and grand and straight, as is a tall 
tree shorn by lightnings. Then placing the plume wands in the hands 
of the father, he took the banded plumes from him and breathed in from 
them, and out on the hands of the father, and folding his arms held 
upright in each hand the feather pertaining thereto. Then he spake : 

"Thanks this day, thou father of the people. Thou art wise of thought 
and good of heart, divining that my evil of speech and act were but the 
assumption of the evils in thy children who, had they not turned false 
to good and fickle of their duties commanded, had else been followers of 
thee as are the fawns unerringly followers of the deer in the mountains 
and plains; and whose falsity, therefore lyingly, as it were, I did take 
unto myself and spit forth that they might be turned unto thee yet 
again and set straight in the paths of right commandment. From out 
of me, haply, thou hast now withdrawn the breath of reversal, and from 
out of me the speech of lying, even as thy children have spat forth, by 
my will and example, their wronging of commandments. 

"Thanks this day; and therefore, in that ye, O, ye fathers, have 
kept thine hearts steadfastly right and straight of inclination, there- 
fore will we show unto ye the light of our favor. 

"Verily I will summon from Summerland, for there methinks they 
bide once more the beautifiil maidens, that ye look once more upon them 
and make offering in plumes of sacrifice meet for them, and that they 
consummate the seedfulness of the seed of seeds, presenting them all 
perfected, to ye; for lost are they as dwellers amongst ye, even as I 
warned ye aforetime they would be, if not held precious of person. 

"Disperse, therefore, from this thy custom when ye shall have com- 
pleted as is due and meet the song-lines and sacred speeches, and the 

442 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. [eth.ann. 13 

making ready thereby of tlie offerings of sacred plume-wands {teliki- 
nawe) and sacred water (k^ydline). Choose then, four youths, so 
young that they have neither known nor sinned aught of the flesh, and 
being of the Seed and Water kinties are meet to bear to the Shrine of 
the Middle, called H^patinane, these offerings of good meaning and 
influence to the Earth-mother, the Maidens of Corn, and the Beloved 
of the Ancient Spaces. Them four ye shall accompany, ye fathers of 
the people, they in thy midst, bearing the things precious, the elder 
Master-priest of the Bow leading, and the other following, the elder 
before, the younger behind. Ye shall walk about the shrine four times, 
once for each region and the breath and season thereof, and set within 
the shrine and round about it with perfect speech and in order, as ye 
would regulate the plantings of grains, these signs of thine hearts 
and of the custom ye cherish. Eest ye contentedly thereafter until, 
with the final moon's full growing, ye await our return-coming. Ye and 
the others, fathers of this custom of the seed, shall then await us as 
for far-coming runners bearing messages of import, wait ye thus in the 
sacred gathering place of the north, which is the first, and which ye 
call H6in Kiwitsinan. There shall ye bide our coming in good and per- 
fect council, that ye receive perfectly the perfected seed of seeds." 

Again the father bent low, and Paiyatuma breathed upon him, and 
saying "Thus much it is finished ere I depart," turned him about and 
sped away so fleetly that none saw him when they went forth to see. 


Beyond the first valley of the high plain to the southward, he set the 
four plume- wands in this wise: First, the yellow, he planted upright, 
and over it leaned, looking at it intently. And when . it had ceased 
to flutter, lo ! the eagle down on it leaned northward, but moved not. 
Then he thus set the blue wand and watched it, and the white wand ; 
but the eagle down on them leaned to right and left and still north- 
ward, yet moved not thereafter. 

Then farther on he planted the red wand, and breathing not, long 
watched it closely, bending low. Soon the soft down-plumes began to 
wave as though blown by the breath of some small creature; backward 
and forward, northward and southward they swayed, as if in time to 
the breath of one resting. 

"Ha! 'tis the breath of my maidens in Summerland!" quoth Pai- 
yatuma, "for the plume of the southland sways, soft though, to their 
gentle breathing. Lo ! thus it is and thus shall it ever be when I set 
the down of my mists on the plains, and scatter my bright beads in 
the northland ; summer shall go thither from afar, borne on the breaths 
of the Seed maidens, and where they breathe, warmth, health, showers 
and fertility shall follow with the birds of Summerland and the but- 
terflies, northward over the world." This he said as he uprose and 
sped, by the magic of his knowledge how, all swiftly, far southward 


into tlie countries of Sunimerlaud ; yea, swiftly and all silently as the 
soft breath, he sought for, bearing his painted iiute before him. And 
when he paused as though to rest, he played on his painted flute, and 
quickly butterflies and birds sought the dew of his breathings therefrom. 
Them he sent forth to seek the Maidens, following swiftly, and long 
ere he found them he greeted them with the music of his song-sound, 
as the People of Seed now greet them in the song of their dances. 


And when the Maidens heard his music and saw his tall form 
advancing through their great fields of ready quickened corn, they 
plucked ears thereof, each of her kind, and with them filled their 
colored trays and over all spread broidered mantles — broidered in all 
bright colors and with the creature-signs of Summerland. From 
eldest to youngest they sallied forth to meet and to welcome him, still 
in their great fields of corn ! Then he greeted them, each with the touch 
of his hands'and the breath of his flute, and bade them prepare to fol- 
low him erewhile to the northland home of their deserted children. 


Lo ! when the time had come, by the magic of their knowledge how, 
they lightened themselves of all weariableness or lingerfulness, and 
in their foster-father's lead, his swift lead, sped back as the stars speed 
over the world at night time toward the home of our ancients. Yet at 
night and dawn only journeyed they, as the dead do and the stars also. 
Thus journeying and resting by the way, that the appointed days 
might be numbered, they came at evening in the full of the last moon 
to the place of the Middle, bearing as at first their trays of seed, each 
her own kind. 


No longer a clown speaking and doing reversals of meanings — as do 
his children (followers) the N^wekwe, today, — was Paiyatuma, as he 
walked into the court of the dancers ere the dusk of the evening, and 
stood with folded arms at the foot of the bow-fringed ladder of priestly 
council, he and his attendant follower {dnsetone) Shutsuk'ya, brother 
of Kw^lele ! Nay, he was tall and beautiful, and banded with his own 
mists, and as wings carried upright in his hands, under his folded arms, 
banded also, the wing-plumes right and left, of the turkey, wherewithal 
he had winged his way from afar leading the Maidens and followed as 
by his own shadow, by the black being of corn-soot, who cries with the 
voice of the frost-wind when the corn has grown aged and the harvest 
is taken away — Shutsuk'ya. 

And again, surpassingly beautiful were the Maidens clothed in the 
white cotton and broidered garments of Summerland, even as far 

444 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. Ieth.ann. 13 

walkers have said are appareled our lost others ! And each in her 
place stood the Maidens. 

Shrill now whistled Shiitsuk'ya, so that all the people around, 
onlooking, started and shuddered. Then upward from the place of 
gathering came the chief priest, bearing a vessel of sacred meal — for 
below were gathered within, waiting (all the night and day) the fathers 
of the people and those of the Seed and Water and the keepers of the 
sacred things, praying and chanting — and when he saw Paiyatuma, 
him he welcomed, scattering the sacred meal which contains the sub- 
stance of the life not of daylight, down the ladder-rungs, and thence 
leading from the sky -hole along the four sides of the roof terrace of the 
Kiwitsinan leftwardly, and then right wardly into the entrance place 
of the descending ladder where stood high its bow-fringed standards. 
And as the priest retired down the descending ladder, Paiyatuma 
stepped easily forward and up the sanctified road-way on the ascend- 
ing ladder (thus, of sacred substance made for him), followed by Shu- 
tsuk'ya, him only. Then walking to the line-mark of each region, 
prayed he, standing straight, consecrating it; and when each conse- 
cration was uttered, Shiitsuk'ya touched him with his wands and 
shrilly whistled once. 

Then when the Avords were all said, Shutsuk'ya shrilly whistled 
again, four times, each time touching Paiyatuma with the wands four 
times as he turned him about, and then signed him to come forward 
to the outer ascending ladder below the which waited the Maidens 

Then Paiyatuma reached down, and the Maiden-mother of the North, 
who was first, advanced to the foot of the ladder and lifted from off her 
head the beautiful tray of yellow corn, and this, Paiyatuma taking, 
presented to the regions, each in succession, praying the while, at the 
mark of each on the sacred line, and being signaled unto, each time, 
by the four-times repeated whistle of Shutsuk'ya. Thus, the Priest 
of the North, made aware when the niimber of presentations was fully 
accomplished, came upward and received from the hands of Paiya- 
tuma the tray of most sacred seed and breathed deeply therefrom, 
saying thanks and bearing it below. 

Now was the Maiden of the North, by retiring to the end of the line of 
her sisters, to the south stationed ; and the Maiden of the West was 
thus become first, and she advanced as her elder sister had, when Pai- 
yatuma turned forward, and gave up her tray of the blue corn which 
thus also as before, when the presentations were fully accomplished, 
the Master-priest of the West received, and breathed from deeply and 
for it said thanks, and bore it below; and so, each in turn, the Maidens 
gave up their trays of precious seed; the Maiden of the South, the red, 
which the Master-priest of the South received ; the Maiden of the Bast, 
the white, which the Master-priest of the East received; and so, the 
tray many-colored and the tray black, and last, yet first at last, the tray 


of all-color seed, which the Priestess of Seed aud All, herself received. 
And now, behold ! the Maidens stood as before, she of the North at the 
northern end, but with her face southward far looking, she of the West 
next, and lo! the seventh, last, southward, and standing thus, the 
darkness of the night fell around them; and as shadows in deep night, 
so these Maidens of the Seed of Corn, the beloved aud beautiful, were 
seen no more of men. 


And Paiyatunia stood alone, at last, for Shutsuk'ya walked now 
behind the Maidens, whistling shrilly (as the frost-wind whistles when 
the corn is gathered away) among the lone canes and dry leaves of a 
gleaned field. And Paiyatuma descended the ladder, and stood iu the 
fire-light with folded arms, in the midst of tlie fathers. And he spake 
unto them : 

"Behold! with my lost Maidens, mothers to ye, I have returned; 
and finding ye gathered in good aud perfect council according to my 
commandments and the approval of thy wisdom, I have restored unto 
ye with mine owu hands, that which they else could not have given ye, 
the flesh of each made perfect in generative seed. This ye shall cherish, 
apart in kind, for all time, as the. seed of all thy seed, and in so far as 
ye cherish it, verily it shall be multiplied ! 

"As ye have done in the days now measured, so also ye shall do in 
the days to come; ye shall keep the beautiful custom of the Mother- 
maidens of Corn, all in due season, preparing therefor strenuously. 
Dance in it, shall thy maidens, chosen of the Seed kinties; thus, as 
it were, ye shall again see the beautiful Mothers of Seed and as it were 
also, they shall renew the seed of each season, aud therein shall ye 
gain in them again the ijreciousness of the Mother-maidens, yet lose 
them even thus gained, each year; choosing, therefore, each season 
newly, the Maidens of the Seed, that these who be lost as maidens be 
replaced as maidens iu the replacing of the 3Iother-maideus. 

"And ye shall keep, after each custom of the Corn Maidens, the flute 
custom of the Water Maidens, and after, in due season, the custom of 
this day also, the which I have shown iinto ye. Having danced first 
with thy maidens of the Seed kin for the ripening of the corn, ye shall 
next dance with thy maidens and youth of the Water kin for the fer- 
tilizing of the seed, and after, in the full of the last moon thy Maidens 
of Corn shall bring the seed unto ye of the house, as ye have seen, that 
it be perfected ; and they shall lead others maidens of other kins — not 
seven, but many times seven in number — who shall bring seed and the 
food thereof (for multiplied many times seven shall be the seed!) unto 
ye and thy younger brothers, that the seed be finished as the sub- 
stance of flesh. Amongst my followers, also, some shall represent me 
and my attendant Shutsuk'ya '■hlimna of us; and they shall choose 

446 ZUNI CREATION MYTHS. (eth.ann. 13 

maidens of the Water kia '■hlimna of the Flute maidens for the flute 
custom, and after, shall lead Maidens of the Seed ^hlimna of the Mother- 
maidens, as we have this day led the Mother-maidens themselves unto 
thy presence; and as I have this day elevated, offered to the spaces 
and given ye from them, the seed, each kind, so shall they, in after 
time, give ye the seed, that ye sanctify it, ye and the good Ka'ka, for 
the people and the plantings of the spring time to come. 

"For look ye, and hearken! Ye loved the custom of the Maidens, 
whence verily ye had life ; yet amongst ye some held not preciously their 
persons, hence them ye shall see no more save in the persons of thine 
own maidens '■hlimna of them, or in dreams or visions like thereto. 
For, lo ! they have departed, since the children of men would seek to 
change the sustaining blessedness of their flesh into suffering humanity 
which sustains not but is sustained, and they would perish — even as the 
maidenhood of thy daughters must perish — and in the loving of men, 
and the cherishing of men's children, lo ! they, even they, would forget 
the cherishing of their beautiful seed-growing! 

"Lo! as a mother of her own being and blood gives life and suste- 
nance to her offspring, so have these given unto ye— for ye are their 
children — the means of life and sustenance. The Mother-maidens are 
gone, but lo ! the seed of each is with ye ! From the beginning of the 
newly come sun each year, ye shall treasure their gifts throughout the 
Moon Nameless, the Moon of the Sacred Fire and the Earth-whitening, 
the Moon of the Snow-broken Boughs, the Moon of the Snowless Path- 
ways, the Moon of the Greater Sand-driving Storms, and the Moon of 
the Lesser Sand-driving Storms, shall ye treasure these gifts, with 
them, making perfect, by means of sacred observances of thy rites and 
the rites of the Ka'ka, the Seed of Seeds. Then in the new soil which 
the winter winds, hail, snow and water have brought unto ye the 
possessors of the miietone, ye shall bury in perfect order as I instruct 
ye, these gifts, their flesh, as ye bury the flesh of the dead. And as the 
flesh of the finished dead decays, so shall this flesh decay ; but as from 
the flesh of the finished dead, the other-being (soul) in the night light 
of the Ka'ka springs forth, so from this flesh shall spring forth in the 
day light of the Sun-father, new being, like to the first, yet in seveiifold 

Of this food shall ye ever eat and be bereft of hunger. Behold! 
beautiful and perfect were the Maidens, and as this their flesh, derived 
from them in beauty and by beautiful custom is perfect and beautiful, 
so shall it confer on those nourished of it, perfection of person, and 
beauty, like to that of those from whom it was derived, so long as like 
them their customs are those of Maidens." 


"And now will I teach ye the customs and song of the planting," said 
Paiyatuma ; and then first he sat him down and smoked the cigarette 


of relationship with the fathers of the Seed aud Water kinties, aud all 
night long until the dawn the songs sounded and the sacred instruc- 
tions of the seed {td'a teusu haitosh nawe) sounded. 

And in the gray mists of the morning Paiyatuma was hidden^and 
is seen no more of men. 






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